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US zero-emission transit buses saw a 66% increase in 2022 – here’s why

The number of full-size transit zero-emission buses in the US saw a 66% increase since 2021, according to newly released data.

There were 5,480 full-size transit zero-emission buses funded, ordered, and/or delivered in the US in 2022, according to the report, “Zeroing in on ZEBs,” from clean transport advocacy nonprofit Calstart. That breaks down to 5,269 battery electric buses and 211 fuel-cell electric buses.

In 2021, there were 3,168 full-size transit battery electric buses and 129 fuel-cell electric buses.

So even though fuel-cell electric buses are vastly outnumbered by battery electric buses, the former increased by 64% in 2022.

Adoptions of small zero-emission buses – transit buses that are Class 3 to 6 and shorter than 30 feet in length – grew by 42% across the US in the same period. As of September 2022, 876 small ZEBs have been adopted in the US, compared to 615 in 2021.

The state with the largest fleet of electric and fuel-cell buses is California, with 1,977. In fact, the West Coast, including Oregon and Washington, accounts for 41% of all zero-emission buses in the US. And that’s unsurprising since California is requiring that new sales of transit buses be zero-emissions by 2030.

New York (489) and Florida (450) fall into second and third places, respectively, for total number of zero-emission buses.

And California also led the country with the largest increase of zero-emission buses in 2022, with 735, followed by New York, with 285.

The Biden administration’s Infrastructure Act acted as a catalyst last year for the big jump in zero-emission buses across the US. The Federal Transit Administration awarded more than $1.66 billion in 2022 through the Low or No Emission Vehicle Program grants and the Grants for Bus and Bus Facilities Program. That money funded 1,100 clean buses.

Photo: Proterra Reno Nevada

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.