New CALSTART Study Shows Large Increase in Zero-Emissions Bus Sales, While Over-all Market Slows

24% increase in Zero Emission Buses across 44 states and territories

Jan 29, 2121 (Pasadena, CA) –  Despite an over-all depressed transit bus market due to Covid-19, the U.S. zero emission transit bus market grew by 24 percent in 2020 according to CALSTART. The report noted that 53 new transit properties ordered zero emission buses (ZEB’s) in 2020, bringing the total to 229.   

“Despite the harmful impacts COVID-19 had on the transit industry last year, the ZEB market grew significantly. ZEB’s are the bright spot in the market, and this increase is reflective of a growing level of confidence in technology, which is an improving business case,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART. 

The market growth tracked in the annual CALSTART report, “Zeroing in on ZEB’s, identifies the significance of federal and state investments and incentives.  Programs from the state-level, like California’s HVIP Program and the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No-Emission Bus Program (FTA’s Low-No), are playing a key role in transforming the U.S. bus market. The Low-No program has distributed up to $485 million for ZEBs since 2013. The federal FY21 budget promisingly increased funding for the program to $180 million. 

“Our study underscores the opportunity to accelerate the growth of the ZEB market in the United States. In partnership with our industry members, we are calling on Congress and the President to increase federal funding for ZEB’s by at least a factor of four times,” said CALSTART Vice President Fred Silver.  

In addition to the growth of ZEB’s in the full-size transit bus market, the report notes there are now nearly 700 ZEB’s deployed in other applications such as airport shuttles and para-transit services.  

This year’s CALSTART report includes figures for the Canadian ZEB market, which is a first for this data report. In Canada alone, over 249 ZEB’s have been deployed, with a high concentration in the province of Ontario.

Other key findings from Zeroing in on ZEBs include:  

  • The top full sized ZEB states are California (1,160), Washington (246), Florida (164), Colorado (100), and Illinois (78). 
  • 1,015 Full Sized Transit buses are currently deployed in the USA with more than 1,775 on backlog. 
  • New orders for smaller zero emission buses are growing with a statewide procurement just completed in California. 
  • Canada is committing to zero-emissions, with over 249 Full sized transit buses and a goal to deploy nearly 5,000 ZEBs across all provinces and major cities. 

CALSTART’s John Jackson, Project Manager, Bryan Lee, Associate Project Manager, and Fred Silver, Vice President were the authors of the Zeroing in on ZEB’s report.

CALSTART | Changing transportation for good

A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, and California and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 265+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry.