Development of Zero-Emission Bus Implementation Guidance for Public Transit Agencies

Research Lead: Tim Lipman

University: UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently implemented an ambitious Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation that requires all public transit agencies to gradually transition to a 100 percent zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet. The two technology options available are battery electric buses that recharge with electricity, and fuel cell (FC) buses that refuel with hydrogen. Adoption of these new types of buses by California transit fleets that traditionally have used diesel, biofuels, and natural gas represents a marked departure from past practices. Many transit agencies in the state are already deploying battery and fuel cell electric buses, and have considerable experience to share with other agencies, especially with regard to the installation and operation of support infrastructure. There are also emerging best practices around bus procurement, installation and use of charging and fueling infrastructure, bus operational issues, opportunities for improved operations through effective driver training, and other aspects of clean-fuel bus implementation that this project will facilitate.

Project Description: This research project will develop a transit agency-focused “ZEB Info” guidebook that will guide agencies through the process of implementing the transition to battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses. The key elements include developing and synthesizing information on the latest law and policy requirements for transit agencies to adopt zero and low-emission buses; contacts for the latest bus technology solutions and vendors; estimates of actual costs of installed chargers and hydrogen fueling stations, as well as best practices and expected operation and maintenance costs; smart charging strategies for reducing electricity costs; and best practices for driver training.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $30,000

Project Partner(s): California Air Resources Board, Center for Transportation and the Environment, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory