Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices. Topic SA-41. Battery Electric Buses - State of the Practice

Many transit agencies are interested in understanding the potential benefits and challenges associated with the introduction and operation of battery electric buses (BEBs). Others are facing mandates by outside agencies, like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), to convert to clean fuel operations and deploy BEBs. In the USA, more than 20 transit systems are operating these buses. Yet, there is lack of unbiased information for agencies to evaluate the deployment of BEBs. As transit systems consider these deployments, the experiences of those that already have them in their fleet become critical and valuable. The goal of this study is to provide an overview of the current state of practice regarding the deployment of BEBs (i.e., planning, service, operations and maintenance). Information will be gathered by a literature review (e.g. agency reports, peer reviewed journal articles) and a survey of all the current transit systems that operate BEBs. Transit agencies that might be considering the use of BEBs will also be surveyed. Topics to be studied include research and practice on the following items (not an inclusive list): (1) Planning: Route selection criteria; Infrastructure (installation considerations, utility service needs, charger requirements, etc.); Scheduling considerations (dwell time, recovery time, layover time, etc.); Technical specifications of vehicles and charging equipment; Scalability; Funding sources; Standards and interoperability. (2) Service, Maintenance and Operations: Training ( maintenance, operators, first responders, Dispatching systems ); Availability and Reliability of buses; Spare ratio requirements; Resiliency and emergencies; Equipment longevity and risk mitigation ( vehicles, battery , chargers, unknowns); Technology for managing, charging and dispatching; Stakeholders management (utilities, operators, unions, communities, executive boards, regulatory agencies, etc.). (3) Costs and benefits (What benefits at what costs?): External funding opportunities (federal funding, carbon credits, etc.); Customer acceptance; Social; Environmental; Health; Cost of energy ( utilities); Return on Investment ( ROI). The report should also include 4- 5 case examples that will gather information on the state-of-the-practice, emphasizing lessons learned, current practices, challenges, and gaps. International experiences, including the ones in China, should be mentioned.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic SA-41

  • 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:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Performing Organizations:

    Center for Transportation and the Environment

    730 Peachtree Street, Suite 330
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30308
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hamlin, Jason

  • Start Date: 20160915
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40897

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01601668
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic SA-41
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 4 2016 1:00AM