Growing Demand for EV Charging Infrastructure

As more and more electric utilities are beginning to realize the growing demand for electricity for private-owner electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in homes, businesses, communities, and on highways, they are also realizing that not all of the demand for EV charging infrastructure is coming just from cars. More and more, it is also coming from trucks and other commercial vehicles, such as buses.

In February, CALSTART released this year’s “Zeroing in on ZEBs: The Advanced Technology Transit Bus Index,” 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).

ZEBs are “Zero Emission Buses,” which include both full-size battery-electric and fuel-cell electric transit buses. Battery-electric buses (BEBs) remain the most common form of ZEB on the road compared to fuel-cell electric buses (FCEBs).

CALSTART is a nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, California and central Europe. It works with 300+ member company and agencies to build an efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. The report provided 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.

Although transit buses produce less smog per capita than passenger cars, the impact directly affects the communities they serve. When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed 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 ZEBs has grown to 5,480 – a 66 percent increase since 2021 (when the number was 3,297).

California, a state where all new sales of transit buses must be zero-emission by 2030, has the most ZEBs in the country with 1,977 vehicles. The West Coast overall, including California, Oregon, and Washington, accounts for 41 percent of ZEBs nationwide. New York follows behind California with 489 total buses.

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


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