2024 KCP Application
Center for Transportation and the Environment
Winner or Finalist
Primary Project Category:
Secondary Project Category:
Carbon Sinks (Natural & Engineered)
Social & Cultural Pathways
Transport and Mobility
Project Summary / Description:
CTE believes that the first step for every school district on their path to electrification should be a free, or low cost, independent full fleet electrification transition plan that includes basic education and considerations of electric school bus technology and operations. In January of 2022, CTE began developing such a program based on our extensive experience creating transition plans for the transit industry, our decades of electric vehicle industry experience, and the years spent observing the electric school bus market. CTE believes that empowering school districts through early and easy planning and education will give schools negotiating power, bring school districts in as informed industry stakeholders, safeguard them from common fleet electrification missteps, and benefit the electric school bus industry as whole.
Regions of Operations:
How Project Affects Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions:
Reduces GHGs (e.g., projects that reduce sources of GHGs, such as through efficiency or other changes in consumption)
Best Estimate of GHG Avoidance/Reduction of This Project (Tonnes CO2 Equivalent/Year):
Impact on Underrepresented Groups:
Transportation accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and more than 25% of these emissions come from the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle markets. We focus our efforts on these critical markets. We believe no other organization has done more to replace fossil-fueled medium- and heavy-duty vehicles with zero-emission vehicles. Our in-house engineers, planners, and project managers have created a proven approach that makes complex projects, in varying topographies and climates, a success. According to the Sierra Club, Each zero-emission bus will reduce carbon emissions by upwards of 270,000 pounds per year compared to diesel and CNG buses. According to the Schoolbus Fleet, an estimated 471,461 yellow school buses provide transportation service daily in the United States and about 25 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses to and from school each day. Transitioning school districts to zero-emission fleets will significantly impact people of color, youth, and all climate vulnerable communities by drastically reducing the carbon emissions output by the school buses in these communities. The lack of funding for student transportation vehicles and the general lack of electric vehicle knowledge within school districts has left the electric school bus market susceptible to external influences that may or not be beneficial long-term to schools. Concepts like vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and capitalized vehicle electrification are becoming tantamount to the electric school bus industry with essentially no independent, public evaluation of the realistic outcomes and cost to schools.
Research or Economic Modeling
Measurement, Reporting & Validation
CTE is experienced in developing, implementing, and administering advanced transportation technology projects, with a focus on zero-emission transit buses. CTE has provided technical assistance and project management services on many zero-emission bus deployment projects made possible through the Federal Transit Administration‚ (FTA) Low or No Emission Vehicle Program (Low-No), TIGGER Program, and Clean Fuels Program. CTE has also demonstrated experience in the fuel cell arena as one of the three National Fuel Cell Bus Program Consortia responsible for deploying fuel cell transit buses for FTA. Through these and other programs, CTE has assisted more than 75 transit agencies that have either deployed, or will soon deploy, more than 430 zero-emission buses. CTE has also managed or participated in more than 35 transition planning projects across the country. As a result, the level of expertise with zero-emission buses that CTE provides to their clients is unprecedented in the transit industry.