Environmental policies throughout the nation are driving transit properties and other bus fleets to evaluate and deploy zero and ultra-low emission bus technologies. CALSTART--with support from the Federal Transit Administration, the California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board, and CALSTART member companies--is working to commercialize the latest technologies with suppliers and to deploy and collect data on pilot and pre-production zero and low ultra-low emission buses and related infrastructure throughout the United States.

CALSTART is also demonstrating both full-sized and shuttle-sized fuel cell and battery buses for both transit and non-transit applications. Working with a variety of transit bus fleets, CALSTART is partnering with teams to test battery-electric and fuel cell buses, as well as conduct third party validation of their performance. 

Some CALSTART performance testing projects include the battery- electric bus built by Proterra being demonstrated in Stockton, California, the University of California, Irvine fuel cell bus being tested in Irvine, California, and the Complete Coach Works Washington State fuel cell bus. 

Information sheets on these and other projects are listed below. For assistance in testing your buses or data collection, please contact Fred Silver at CALSTART, fsilver@calstart.org

Pictured above, a Proterra electric bus.

LoNo Component Assessment Program

The FTA’s Low or No (LoNo) Emission Vehicle Program provides funding to state and local governments to purchase LoNo transit buses, but how can anyone be sure that these new buses will perform as advertised? Air quality emissions, duty cycles, and individual components within the bus have not been rigorously benchmarked by an unbiased third party.

The LoNo CAP brings together three world-class testing facilities to provide these services. Everything from component evaluations, system integrations, and full vehicle performance is tested by the best experts and innovators from the Mid-West. In addition to this, 50% of the cost of these tests will be covered by the FTA.

Who Benefits?
The LoNo CAP is designed to unite LoNo component makers, transit agencies, and government regulators with a testing facility that can address their needs. By working together with the three laboratories, participants can understand the technological limitations, design criteria, and real-world applications of LoNo transit buses.

Components that emerge from the LoNo CAP will become part of a growing list of “off the shelf” LoNo technologies ready for widespread adoption by OEMs. With more components available, LoNo transit buses will become less of a science experiment and more of a routine purchase option. Download the project summary sheet 

Battery Electric Bus Demonstration in Stockton, CA

In partnership with CALSTART and the San Joaquin Regional TransitDistrict, Proterra has built, tested and deployed two fast-chargebattery electric buses and a fast-charge station in service in the SanJoaquin Valley. The Proterra Bus Project is demonstrating the EcoRide™BE-35, a fully developed, operational, advanced vehicle technologytransit bus for on-road applications. Download the project summary sheet. 

Fuel Cell Bus Demonstration at UC Irvine

Ballard Power Systems, in partnership with BAE Systems, ElDoradoNational, UC Irvine and CALSTART, will build and test a zero-emissionfuel cell bus in service as a campus shuttle. The UC Irvine Fuel CellBus Demonstration will provide valuable data on the performance andoperational challenges of the fuel cell vehicle. The pilot test buildson UC Irvine’s experience and expertise with hydrogen vehicles, and willutilize the campus’ existing hydrogen fuel station. Download the project summary sheet. 

Hybrid Shuttle Bus Testing and Demonstration: ARBOC “Spirit of Mobility” (2014)

(pdf)  A Papson, T. Bloch-Rubin, and J. Tomic
This report presents the evaluation of two ARBOC Specialty Vehicles“Spirit of Mobility” gasoline hybrid shuttle buses in revenue servicefor a municipal fleet (City of Tracy, California) over six months. Eachbus, built on a GMC 4500 chassis, was outfitted with an ultracapacitorhybrid system which provides boost during acceleration events whilerecapturing energy during braking events. A baseline was established bydisengaging the system on one of the buses throughout the duration ofthe test. The two vehicles traveled a total of 31,900 miles, consumed5,070 gallons of fuel during 2,878 hours of operation and carried anestimated 42,000 passengers. Download the report.

Hybrid Electric Bus Evaluation

This project is comparing the performance of Hybrid Electric Bus (HEB)shuttle buses against their conventional counterparts. This analysiswill quantify the benefits of the tested HEBs across a number ofoperational metrics, including fuel economy and emissions benefits,driver performance, and reduced maintenance & service needs. Inaddition, the project will provide insights into the types of routes anddriving patterns in which HEBs perform best against their conventionalcounterparts. The results of this analysis will help transit operatorsand HEB suppliers understand the potential benefits of HEBs, and wherethey can most effectively be used. Download the project summary sheet.

Monterey-Salinas Transit Hybrid Shuttle Bus Testing and Demonstration

This report presents the evaluation of two buses in revenue service atMonterey-Salinas Transit (MST) over six months. In the test, a hybridbus, an International diesel bus with an Eaton hybrid-electricdrivetrain, was evaluated along with a conventional bus, a Ford E450cutaway gasoline shuttle bus. The findings from this extensive demo arepresented in the full report. Download the report.

Peak Demand Charges and Electric Transit Buses - White Paper (2014)

In order to support and increase the adoption of electric transit buses,CALSTART (under the U.S. Federal Transit Administration cooperativeagreement CA26-7075) researched and analyzed potential options thatwould mitigate the impact of peak demand charges on the operation ofelectric transit buses. The first goal of this white paper is to betterunderstand how the peak demand charges levied by electric utilities ontheir commercial and industrial customers impact the business case forelectric transit buses. The second goal is to research and analyzepotential technical and policy options and recommend for consideration apathway that will support and increase the adoption of electric transitbuses. Download the white paper.

Zero Emission Propulsion System Transit Bus Demonstration in Washington State

This project developed, deployed, and tested an advancedbattery-electric bus in transit service. The bus is projected to have100-mile range and be fully charged in around five hours. The bus,developed by Complete Coach Works (CCW) of Riverside, CA, with bedeployed and tested with Ben Franklin Transit, of Richland, WA. CCW hasbranded their drive system as ZEPS, the Zero Emission Propulsion System.
Download the project summary sheet.