Calling all Midwest Transits and Utilities – Join our pledge today!

This one is for all Midwest[1] Transits and Utilities: CALSTART wants you to join our new Generation Zero pledge program and accelerate the growth of zero-emission transit vehicle deployments across the region. This program focuses on next-generation transit vehicles—as in any form of motorized public transportation—and is aimed specifically at the needs of the Midwest.

Pledge partners will work collectively with regional stakeholders to expedite zero-emission transit vehicle deployments, including both battery electric buses (BEBs) and fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs), over the next 10 to 20 years. To date, key pledge members include Michigan DOT, SARTA, WRTA, Proterra, Navistar, and Fontaine Modifications.

Generation Zero recognizes transit as a first success application for transportation electrification. Progress in zero-emission transit vehicle deployment ensures that the Midwest will continue its leadership in all things transportation, job creation, and continued manufacturing growth. Pledge partners will help the region’s states and cities meet sustainability goals and realize their clean air ambitions, while driving industrial competitiveness and clean technology job growth.

In joining Generation Zero, participants commit to being active in communications and activities geared toward achieving the two fundamental goals of the program:

Make zero-emission transit vehicle deployments (vehicles and infrastructure) commercially viable and cost competitive in the Midwest by 2025, including at least 1,500 vehicle orders and deployments by 2025—a 360% increase over 2020 deployments.

Ensure zero-emission transit vehicles achieve 100 percent new sales across the Midwest by 2040 and ideally as early as 2035 with the right ecosystems in place.

The Midwest is already primed for success: the region has access to nearly all zero-emission vehicle models being purchased. There is also available funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) to support the cost differential for vehicles, and utilities are creating strong transportation electrification programs to help cover infrastructure costs. Moreover, Midwesterners realize the benefits that zero-emission transit brings to their communities and have created policies to support zero-emission transit vehicle deployments. As more incentives come to the market, Generation Zero will strive to realize these targets much earlier than 2040.

How will these goals come to fruition? Together, under the Generation Zero program, CALSTART and pledge partners will connect, inform, and influence key stakeholders by taking on the following actions:

BUILD a strong platform for communication and engagement for participants

SHARE experiences, knowledge, materials, needs, and requirements to shape actions

DEVELOP relationships, tools, and products that drive market growth

SOCIALIZE the activities, updates, products, and news to build the Generation Zero brand and increase awareness

GROW the number of pledge partners to strengthen the collaboration activities

MONITOR and MEASURE progress towards 2025 and 2040 goals

To meet the first 2025 milestone, participants will work over the next four years to share information, identify best practices, eliminate barriers through collaboration and engagement with policy, coordinate among stakeholders, and take appropriate actions to ensure success in accelerating the zero-emission transit market. Participants will also attend one annual virtual meeting.

Be a part of establishing better transit for the next generation and help frame the market for zero-emission transit vehicles. To become a pledge partner, or for any further information, please contact Maureen Marshall, CALSTART’s Midwest Regional Director, at [email protected] / (248-977-9523)


[1] IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, and WI