The first 100% zero-emission transit fleet in the United States

March 22, 2022

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Mobility House celebrates Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s (AVTA) historic achievement. To keep their fleet charged and running, AVTA has installed Heliox, ABB, WAVE, and BYD chargers, and uses The Mobility House’s smart charging and energy management system ChargePilot®, to optimize charging and secure the lowest cost of electricity.

Officials from AVTA, CARB, Los Angeles County, City of Lancaster, and California State Transportation Agency gather in front of AVTA's new electric bus.

Business leaders in transportation and clean energy came together alongside Southern California government officials last Wednesday to celebrate the momentous completion of Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s 100% zero-emission fleet. Since 2014, Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) has blazed the electrification trail, pioneering battery electric bus transportation by converting its polluting diesel transit vehicles to an all-electric fleet. With the final step completed this month, AVTA became the first zero-emission transit agency in North America. The 87-vehicle fleet now consists of BYD electric buses, New Flyer’s Motor Coach Industries (MCI) coaches, and GreenPower microtransit vans.

Managed charging reduces operating expenses

When left unmanaged, the charging of large electric fleets can significantly increase a transit’s operating expenses. To make sure AVTA avoided unnecessary peaks in electricity costs, The Mobility House’s ChargePilot® was deployed to manage 12 Dual Port Heliox Flex 180 kW (DC) chargers for the fleet’s newest and final addition – 24 MCI Coaches.  ChargePilot® intelligently adjusts the charging performance for each vehicle according to real-time travel schedules as well as the local utility’s time-of-use tariffs and demand charges. Simulations by The Mobility House indicate that optimizing the charging of the 24 MCI coaches with ChargePilot® will save approximately $532,000 per year versus unmanaged charging, representing a 67% savings in annual electricity costs.

AVTA Peak Load Chart

Additionally, ChargePilot® helps AVTA collect data required for Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) credit monetization. Using the charging data collected from ChargePilot®, AVTA is able to completely cover the cost of electric fueling and actually generates revenue of $0.15 per mile from LCFS credits from the state of California. Going forward, The Mobility House will also be able to integrate AVTA’s on-site solar into its smart charging system, ultimately reducing carbon emissions and electricity costs even more.

The future of public transportation

"The Antelope Valley Transit Authority, together with the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale and Los Angeles County, has shown California and the world how local growth can coexist with clean transportation, low-carbon energy, and new local job opportunities. Their accomplishment underscores the fact that committed and visionary communities are key to our clean air and climate solutions as well as a strong California economy."

Liane Randolph,

CARB Chair

ATVA’s achievement comes 18 years ahead of schedule for the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) statewide regulation, which requires all public transit fleets to become emissions-free by 2040. This milestone also contributes to the growing adoption of zero-emission buses on the road nationwide, which as of 2021, amounted to 3,500 buses. As of January 2022, AVTA’s electric buses have surpassed more than 7 million miles of service – saving 1,750,000 gallons of diesel fuel and reducing 41.58 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.  “Congratulations, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, for achieving this tremendous milestone and being an example for transit operators across the world that a 100% electric transit fleet is possible,” said The Mobility House U.S. Managing Director Greg Hintler. “We are proud to partner with progressive communities and industry leaders, like AVTA and New Flyer, who rely on our sophisticated intelligent charging strategies to accelerate the future of clean transportation.”  Antelope Valley Transit Authority is The Mobility House’s first transit project in Southern California and joins The Mobility House’s portfolio of projects with New Flyer, including Metro Transit in the St. Louis region. Learn how The Mobility House brings a comprehensive approach to transit charging infrastructure, from conception to operation, by exploring our Transit Buses Page.