At the request of Sens Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) conducted an independent study to formulate a roadmap and cost assessment for transitioning the entire U.S. transit fleet to zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). CTE was chosen to produce this report because of the organization’s extensive experience developing and deploying zero-emission vehicle technologies. The report is now available for download.
In the report, CTE concludes that a nationwide fleet transition is feasible by 2035, at a cost of between $56.22 billion and $88.91 billion. The estimate accounts for vehicles, infrastructure, technical assistance, and federal research and development support. The report assumes the national fleet will require a mix of both battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles to meet zero-emission transition targets.
CTE incorporated robust federal support for research, development, and component testing into the cost assessment. Technology development programs and the testing facilities needed to support them are integral to accelerating the transition to ZEVs and ultimately achieving a full ZEV transition by 2035. These programs support the advancement of battery technology, drivetrain components, and advanced driver assistance. Workforce development is also a crucial component of the plan as transit operators, technicians, engineers, and planners need specialized training to understand unique components of ZEVs and supporting infrastructure.
This week, Sens Schumer and Brown unveiled the new “Clean Transit for America Plan” to accelerate nationwide adoption of clean transportation. “To reduce the carbon in our atmosphere and address the climate crisis, we must transform our transit system,” said Sen. Schumer in an official press release. “The Clean Transit for America proposal will replace dirty, diesel-spewing buses, create new American jobs, help save the planet and protect public health, particularly in our country’s most vulnerable communities.”
“Rapidly electrifying the U.S. transit system has to be done the right way,” said Dan Raudebaugh, Executive Director of CTE. “Transit agencies need more than vehicles to successfully make this transition, and the federal government is well-positioned to provide that much-needed support.”
CTE has helped more than 80 transit agencies across the U.S. successfully adopt zero-emission technologies, including the deployment of over 300 zero-emission buses and development of 30 transition plans. These agencies represent nearly every geography, climate, and topography. CTE’s work spans the entire clean transportation system, including manufacturers, infrastructure providers, and fleet operators who are leading electrification initiatives.
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