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.

Battery Electric Bus Demonstration in Stockton, CA

In partnership with CALSTART and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Proterra has built, tested and deployed two fast-charge battery electric buses and a fast-charge station in service in the San Joaquin Valley. The Proterra Bus Project is demonstrating the EcoRide™ BE-35, a fully developed, operational, advanced vehicle technology transit 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, ElDorado National, UC Irvine and CALSTART, will build and test a zero-emission fuel cell bus in service as a campus shuttle. The UC Irvine Fuel Cell Bus Demonstration will provide valuable data on the performance and operational challenges of the fuel cell vehicle. The pilot test builds on UC Irvine’s experience and expertise with hydrogen vehicles, and will utilize 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 service for a municipal fleet (City of Tracy, California) over six months. Each bus, built on a GMC 4500 chassis, was outfitted with an ultracapacitor hybrid system which provides boost during acceleration events while recapturing energy during braking events. A baseline was established by disengaging the system on one of the buses throughout the duration of the test. The two vehicles traveled a total of 31,900 miles, consumed 5,070 gallons of fuel during 2,878 hours of operation and carried an estimated 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 analysis will quantify the benefits of the tested HEBs across a number of operational metrics, including fuel economy and emissions benefits, driver performance, and reduced maintenance & service needs. In addition, the project will provide insights into the types of routes and driving patterns in which HEBs perform best against their conventional counterparts. The results of this analysis will help transit operators and HEB suppliers understand the potential benefits of HEBs, and where they 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 at Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) over six months. In the test, a hybrid bus, an International diesel bus with an Eaton hybrid-electric drivetrain, was evaluated along with a conventional bus, a Ford E450 cutaway gasoline shuttle bus. The findings from this extensive demo are presented 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 cooperative agreement CA26-7075) researched and analyzed potential options that would mitigate the impact of peak demand charges on the operation of electric transit buses. The first goal of this white paper is to better understand how the peak demand charges levied by electric utilities on their commercial and industrial customers impact the business case for electric transit buses. The second goal is to research and analyze potential technical and policy options and recommend for consideration a pathway that will support and increase the adoption of electric transit buses. Download the white paper.

Zero Emission Propulsion System Transit Bus Demonstration in Washington State

This project developed, deployed, and tested an advanced battery-electric bus in transit service. The bus is projected to have 100-mile range and be fully charged in around five hours. The bus, developed by Complete Coach Works (CCW) of Riverside, CA, with be deployed and tested with Ben Franklin Transit, of Richland, WA. CCW has branded their drive system as ZEPS, the Zero Emission Propulsion System.
Download the project summary sheet.