Zero-Emission Vehicles: New Tech, New Skills, New Jobs

Public transportation agencies throughout the United States are introducing and expanding zero-emission fleets and supporting technologies. With the move to zero-emission fleets, public transportation agencies of all sizes must be forward-looking.  To succeed, public transportation agencies need to identify the new job skills and abilities required and the positions that need to adapt to the new performance requirements of zero-emission fleets and technologies. Public transportation agencies will need to train current employees and hire new employees with relevant education and training to plan, operate, and maintain zero-emission fleets and technologies to help decarbonize the transportation sector.  As zero-emission fleets and technologies are introduced and expanded, mitigating negative impacts on the existing workforce will be a challenge, in particular for mid-sized and small public transportation agencies. It is important that employees feel supported and valued as public transportation agencies introduce and expand zero-emission fleets. Support may differ for employees at various stages of their careers, in different positions and levels within the organization, and at varying levels of education and qualifications.   Employee training for zero-emission fleets must be effective and safe. Suitable training approaches should be considered and pursued, consistent with agency and employee needs. Research is needed to assess:  (1) What educational, training, and development approaches have historically been effective and can be more widely used by public transportation agencies operating and expanding zero-emission fleets; (2) Which cutting-edge approaches can help train and develop public transportation employees to operate and maintain zero-emission fleets; (3) What role can be played by larger public transportation agencies, unions, and public-private partnerships in a state or region to leverage their training capabilities for zero-emission fleets to help mid-sized and small agencies; and (4) What role could original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of the equipment used in zero-emission fleets play in supporting and developing public transportation agency workforce.   The objective of this research is to develop a useful resource for public transportation agencies to use as they transition to new skills and new jobs for planning, operating, and maintaining zero-emission fleets and technologies for all modes.   The research should address:  (1) How prepared is the public transportation industry workforce in the United States to introduce, implement, and sustain zero-emission fleets and technologies?   (2) How will introducing and expanding zero-emission fleets affect employee job skills and workforce requirements, especially in operations and maintenance? (3) How are public transportation agencies addressing recruitment, training, retraining, and retention of new hires as well as seasoned employees as zero-emission fleets and technologies are implemented and expanded? (4) Which domestic and international public transportation agencies are at the forefront of innovation and success in adapting to new job skill requirements for zero-emission fleets and technologies?  How has their success been achieved? What key challenges have they faced? What are the key lessons learned? (5) What traditional and innovative training approaches are being applied to foster holistic, safe, and comprehensive training regarding zero-emission fleets and technologies?  What training approaches should be added to achieve better outcomes? (6) What are OEMs doing to support their clients and how are public transportation agencies securing near- and longer-term commitments from OEMs in all facets of implementation, operations, and training of zero-emission fleets and technologies?  


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-11, Task 46

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20230905
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01866942
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-11, Task 46
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2022 9:13AM