NCTD began the process of developing the CARB-required ZEB rollout plan in February 2019. Staff first completed an initial review of the fleet replacement requirements necessary to conform with the ICT by 2040. Additionally, NCTD retained consultant STV, Inc. to explore NCTD’s vehicle, facility, and operational needs, and provide a full analysis, recommendations, procurement documents, and engineering plans for facilities to meet the ZEB plan requirements.
Based on information gathered through discussions with agencies that have purchased and deployed zero-emission technology and the information regarding ZEB infrastructure requirements from STV, NCTD anticipates purchasing 14 ZEBs (6 battery-powered and 8 hydrogen fueled) prior to 2023. These will be used to offset future ICT-required ZEB purchases until 2025 or 2026, giving NCTD time to adequately study the performance of the ZEBs in NCTD’s operating environment. NCTD estimates that the total cost of facility improvements and purchase of vehicles will range from $194 million to $217 million for battery-powered buses, and from $188 million to $226 million for hydrogen fueled buses.
“Using electric and hydrogen buses in the NCTD fleet will be a big step towards cleaner air and reducing greenhouse emissions,” said NCTD Board Chair and Encinitas City Councilmember Tony Kranz. “NCTD looks forward to offering this new technology to our communities while moving towards a greener future.”