III. Support Electric Bus and Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Deployment
Electric buses and medium and heavy-duty trucks have significantly fewer carbon emissions and reduce harmful air pollution in our communities. They provide considerable savings in maintenance and fuel costs, compared to combustion engine buses and trucks. Additionally, the purchase price of electric buses and trucks are falling fast with advancements in battery technology. While electric transit and school buses and medium and heavy-duty trucks have many similarities there are significant enough differences including how they are driven, price points and how they interact with the grid, that we are choosing to separate them and address them individually.
CALSTART | Drive to Zero’s Zero-emission Technology Inventory (ZETI) Tool: The Zero-Emission Technology Inventory (ZETI) tool is an interactive online resource to establish a current and shared knowledge base for worldwide commercially available offerings of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs). The tool aims to provide fleets and governments with comprehensive information including regions where zero-emission brands are available for purchase, and the timeline over which additional models are expected to become available. Commercial availability is defined as availability for immediate production based on placed orders.
Environmental Defense Fund | Fleet Electrification Solution Center: This toolkit is everything you need to know about transitioning Class 3-8 fleet vehicles. It is a website designed to help turn a company's electrification goals into reality. It is a compilation of vetted fleet electrification resources and includes a comprehensive checklist and expertise from leaders in the space.
A. Electric Transit Buses
Transit buses are typically driven year-round and as such can significantly reduce both fuel costs (up to 75 percent because of their high fuel efficiency) and climate emissions. Every zero-emission bus is able to eliminate 1,690 tons of CO2 over its lifespan. In our region, an electric bus provides CO2 emissions benefits similar to a diesel bus getting 11-15 MPG. For reference, the typical transit bus achieves 4.8 MPG. Lifetime costs to own are similar to a diesel bus when factoring fuel and maintenance savings over the lifespan of the bus. Federal cost-share funding for transit buses efficiently leverages local funding. Additionally, with proper planning, the fast-charging stations used to charge buses can provide needed fast charging hubs to support EV drivers in case of storm evacuation. (See section VI. Incentivize EVs to Accelerate Economic Development). Working with your electrical utility provider is key to addressing charging infrastructure.
Knoxville Area Transit, TN
B. Electric School Buses
The US school bus fleet is the nation's largest public transportation fleet, moving more than 25 million children on 480,000 buses each school day. One major benefit of electrifying our school buses is a significant reduction of children's exposure to harmful pollutants in diesel exhaust from conventional buses. School buses have predictable schedules and large energy storage capacity, opening up opportunities for partnerships with local utilities and making them ideal for electric “Vehicle to Grid” technology. Vehicle to Grid technology enables bus batteries to provide power to the electricity grid while not running, helping to offset demand during peak hours, and increasing resiliency by acting as a stored-energy source during an emergency.
Additionally, school districts can electrify their light-duty vehicle fleet and provide charging in their parking lots.
World Resources Institute | All About Electric School Buses Series
C. Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks
Medium and heavy-duty electric trucks make up only 8% of on-road vehicles, but these trucks are responsible for approximately 32% of on-road greenhouse gas (GHG), or carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, emissions; 63% of on-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 68% of on-road emissions of particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5). This underscores the impacts of transitioning them to electric and why truck electrification should be a policy priority.
Calstart | Zeroing in on Zero Emission Trucks: An inventory report on the number of medium- and heavy-duty trucks available, market trends and future growth and technology.
ZETA | Medium- and HeavyDuty Electrification: Weighing the Opportunities and Barriers to ZeroEmission Fleets
I. Create Transportation Electrification Plans
II. Deploy Light-Duty Municipal Fleets
III. Support Electric Buses and Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Deployment
IV. Deploy Electric Vehicle Charging Access and Infrastructure
V. Identify Funding for Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure
VI. Establish Education and Outreach Initiatives
VII. Promote Economic Development by Investing in Electric Transportation
VIII. Center Equitable Electric Transportation
IX. Engage Your Local Utilities