“Zeroing in on ZEBs” is based on data gathered primarily through local, state, and federal award documents, press releases, phone interviews, and validated via sales information from bus manufacturers. - Photo: MTA

“Zeroing in on ZEBs” is based on data gathered primarily through local, state, and federal award documents, press releases, phone interviews, and validated via sales information from bus manufacturers.

Photo: MTA

CALSTART published its annual inventory of zero-emission buses, (ZEBs) “Zeroing in on ZEBs,” showing full-size ZEBs have grown to 3,533 buses nationally, an increase of 27% since the 2020 count.

The report provided insight on the current state of ZEBs ahead of $5.25 billion in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low-No Program. The report notes that most ZEB fleets are small, ten or fewer.

“Early adopters such as large transit agencies in California, New York, Florida, Kentucky, and Oregon continue to lead, but still are not at scale,” said Jared Schnader, director of Bus Programs at CALSTART. “Smaller transit agencies and regions that are not familiar with zero-emission technologies need additional resources and effort to begin their transition.”   

California continues to lead in the deployment of full-size ZEBs, with New York and Washington rounding out the leaderboard in the totals by state. This year’s report also includes a breakdown of full-size and small buses, as small ZEB deployment increased by 51%.  

Fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) appear to be gaining interest, with California and Massachusetts adding to their FCEB fleets and Texas and Washington transit agencies adopting FCEBs for the first time.

The 2021 total for FCEBs is 169, up from 87 in 2020.

Additional points in the report:

  • Airports have adopted 131 full-size and 119 small ZEBs. This increase represents 35% and 19% growth from 2020, respectively.
  • New York significantly increased its orders of full-size ZEBs, from 77 in 2020 to 195 in 2021, all of which are BEBs.
  • Of the 67 transit agencies that have small ZEBs, 22 only have one bus. Fifty-eight public agencies have four or fewer buses.

“Zeroing in on ZEBs” is based on data gathered primarily through local, state, and federal award documents, press releases, phone interviews, and validated via sales information from bus manufacturers. As there is no centralized accounting of ZEBs, and transit agency plans for adoption can shift and/or be delayed, it is important to note that figures contained in the report should not be considered static.

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