The industry-leading team powering smart charging infrastructure for electric transit buses

Portrait of Dayna Wasley

Dayna Wasley

June 25, 2024

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Learnings from 15 transit-electrification success stories with The Mobility House and NFI Infrastructure Solutions

Electric bus at Mt Zion National Park

The shuttle system at Zion National Park is critical for the nearly five million guests visiting the park annually.
Photo credit: The Mobility House

The Mobility House’s success in fleet electrification is built on collaboration. Our implemented projects with NFI Group Inc. (NFI) have been particularly fruitful because they were built with open communication and by the two companies working together and providing complementary strengths.

NFI is a leading independent global provider of sustainable bus and motor coach solutions, with subsidiaries including New Flyer and Motor Coach Industries (MCI). They are also a pioneer in electric vehicle technology, having introduced their first electric trolley in 1968, and their first battery-electric bus in 2012. NFI has also launched an infrastructure service, NFI Infrastructure Solutions. Through this business, NFI provides a full suite of comprehensive mobility project support. One such service is the planning and deployment of different electric-bus charging options, including The Mobility House’s ChargePilot® charge management system.

The Mobility House is fortunate to have worked with NFI Infrastructure Solutions since our first transit project in North America in 2020, which was the largest charging depot at the time – St Louis Metro. We followed that success with another milestone collaboration in 2021, the largest electric motorcoach charging depot in North America, built for the first 100% electric transit agency, Antelope Valley Transit Authority in southern California.

Now, we are proud to celebrate several new charging depots built with NFI Infrastructure Solutions in the past year, including:

Zion National Park

This site is by far The Mobility House’s most picturesque charging depot under management, and one that has members of the team competing for a site visit. The world-famous Zion National Park is not accessible by car for most of the year, so the shuttle system is critical for the nearly five million guests visiting the park annually.

Thanks to a $33 Million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the entire fleet of 26 buses will soon be electric-powered, starting with five battery-electric buses that entered service last year.

Madison Metro Transit

This project will set Madison Metro Transit well on its way to its goal of making 50 percent of its buses zero-emission by 2035, with four sites and 34 charge ports totaling 3.3MW charging capacity. The chargers selected for this project are ABB HVC 450kW pantographs and ABB HVC 150kW 3-port DC chargers, and will serve 46 Xcelsior Charge NG™ 60-foot buses purchased from New Flyer earlier this year. The buses are intended to operate on the new East-West Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) in Madison, expected to be open for operations this year.

Miami-Dade Transit

This is The Mobility House’s largest project to date in North America. It includes 52 chargers with two charging points each (104 total charging points) distributed over two sites. Miami Dade also ordered  46 Xcelsior Charge NG™ 60-foot buses purchased from New Flyer earlier this year, the majority of which will enter service as part of the 20-mile South Dade TransitWay BRT corridor, between Dadeland South Metrorail Station and Florida City. Two new Heliox 540 kW on-route pantograph chargers managed by ChargePilot will allow a bus to stop in and top off for an additional 1.5 hours of operation in just six minutes.

Transit electrification momentum continues

Transit agencies are turning to battery-electric buses more and more as new vehicles and charging systems are more available and more reliable than ever, funding is widely available from a variety of state and federal programs, and individual agencies’ zero-emissions goals and timelines come into focus.

In addition to the projects mentioned above, The Mobility House and NFI Infrastructure Solutions have numerous other transit smart-charging depot projects in development or in operation, with operators such as Green Mountain Transit in Vermont, Trinity Metro in Texas, City of Vacaville in California, CATbus in South Carolina, Rochester Public Transit in Minnesota, Knoxville Area Transit, and Long Beach Transit.

Key takeaways

Key takeaways from 15 transit smart-charging projects developed with NFI Infrastructure Solutions:

  1. Integrate smart charging early in the planning process so that you can right-size the infrastructure and minimize costs over the life of the project
  2. Work with experienced collaborators that have complementary strengths
  3. Establish clear project timelines and responsibilities for all project sectors and look for vehicles, chargers, and a charge management system that are interoperable

We are grateful for our past successes with NFI Infrastructure Solutions, and we look forward to more progress in helping transit agencies achieve their electrification goals to be announced soon.

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