The transit market in the United States is undergoing a significant shift from predominantly fossil fuel–powered vehicles to zero-emission vehicles in the future. When transit operators consider introducing these types of vehicles into their fleets, the primary concern is always whether or not the vehicles can meet the agency’s service requirements. This concern exists both at the individual route level and at the fleet level. What happens if a charger goes down? What happens if the grid loses power? How will an operator ensure their buses are fully charged and able to go into revenue service? If there is a natural disaster, and an agency needs to provide emergency transportation services, how will they do so without a functioning power grid?
The industry is exploring a number of solutions to the challenges that occur if the power grid goes down or if there is a natural disaster, but there is no clear answer yet.
This research would survey proposed technologies and strategies for improving resilience of a zero- emission transit fleet, such as on-site power generation, microgrids, backup utility feeds, local liquid hydrogen storage, and vehicle-to-grid technologies. It would summarize these technologies, including identifying ideal applications of the strategy and estimating costs for implementation. It would also seek to assess the roles such technologies may play in the disaster response plans of communities and states.