CALSTART Releases Updated Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) Inventory Report for the United States and Canada
Report covers Class 3 and above battery-electric or fuel-cell electric transit buses
PASADENA, CA – CALSTART is pleased to announce the release of this year’s Zeroing in on ZEBs, an annual report funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). It provides an updated index of adopted ZEBs that have been funded, ordered, and/or delivered within the United States and Canada according to data collected through September 2022. Tracking the data shows the countries’ progress towards 100% zero-emission vehicle adoption.
The U.S. government works with global public and private organizations to reduce harmful pollutants released into the atmosphere from medium- and heavy-duty diesel-engine vehicles. Although transit buses produce less smog per capita than passenger cars, the impact directly affects the communities they serve. When President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in November of 2021, historic levels of funding were made available for zero-emission transit projects and paved the way forward for ZEB adoption.
Full-size ZEBs are defined as Class 7 or 8 transit buses that are 30 or more feet in length. In the United States today, the total count of full-size battery-electric and fuel-cell electric transit buses has grown to 5,480—a 66% increase since 2021 from 3,297 total ZEBs. California, a state where all new sales of transit buses must be zero-emission by 2030, in compliance with the Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation, has the most ZEBs in the country with 1,977 vehicles. The West Coast overall, including California, Oregon, and Washington, accounts for 41% of ZEBs nationwide. New York follows behind California with 489 total buses. While it’s not surprising that these two states are at the forefront as fleet companies take advantage of available zero-emission technology and funding sources, other states, including Arizona, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine, doubled their count in the last year. As the report states, “Arizona and Massachusetts saw the largest year-over-year increases at 280% and 271%, respectively.” The southeastern and southwestern United States, led by Florida and Texas, showed strong gains in the number of full-size ZEBs, indicating these regions have accelerated the pace of adoption compared to previous years.
Small ZEBs are defined as transit buses that are Class 3-6 and shorter than 30 feet in length. While electrification efforts have focused more on Class 7-8 buses, small buses comprise a significant portion of transit vehicles on the road today. As of September 2022, 876 small ZEBs have been adopted in the United States by public transit agencies, private fleets, and airports. The total count of small ZEBs grew by 261 from 2021 – an overall increase of 42% year-over-year, though the growth rate is 31% less than the rate recorded in 2021. There are now 100 public transit agencies with small ZEBs in the United States – of the 100, 18 public agencies purchased their first small ZEBs in 2022. Private companies purchased 14 small ZEBs in 2022. Airports increased the total number of small ZEBs from 114 in 2021 to 142 in 2022, a 25% growth rate. The increase of full-size airport ZEBs has also increased to 151 as of September 2022, all of which are battery-electric operational vehicles.
Battery-electric buses (BEBs) remain the most common form of ZEB on the road compared to fuel-cell electric buses (FCEBs); but while still greatly outnumbered by BEBs, FCEBs continue to gain traction, with a 64% increase in adoption seen since the 2021 count. While California also leads the country in the number of FCEBs adopted, there are now 14 states with transit agencies that have adopted FCEBs, including Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, and New York. The number of states with 10 or more FCEBs doubled, growing from two states in 2021 to four in 2022.
Canada has also experienced year-to-year growth in full-size and small ZEB adoptions. As of September 2022, the number of ZEBs across the country has grown to 859, including 219 new full-size buses added this year. Of this, 849 are BEBs and 10 are FCEBs. Canada’s most populous providence, Ontario, continues to lead the nation with 529 ZEBs, which is five times higher than Manitoba’s 104 ZEBs. The adoption of ZEBs grew by 34% from 2021 to 22 vehicles, showing progress toward achieving net-zero emissions goals by 2050. Transit agencies in Montreal and British Columbia have committed to having 100% zero-emission fleets by 2040 as well, and the Canadian government pledged to deploy 5,000 zero-emission transit and school buses on the road by 2025 as part of the Zero Emission Transit Fund.
“We are delighted to release another Zeroing in on ZEBs report with the latest inventory data on zero-emission transit buses across the United States and Canada. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our dedicated staff and partners. We would like to thank the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium as well as the FTA and CARB’s HVIP for working with CALSTART. We are excited to share updates of this report for years to come,” said Jared Schnader, CALSTART Bus Programs Director.
CALSTART released the inaugural Zeroing in on ZEBs report in 2018 and continues to update the data in subsequent editions. The report is a valuable resource for anyone looking for a comprehensive analysis of ZEB adoption across the United States and Canada.
A nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, California and central Europe and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 300+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry. We overcome barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.