November 2022 - 37

Energy is a Scarce Resource
All over the news, resilience is one of today's hottest
topics. From wildfires, to hurricanes, to extreme
temperatures, to floods, communities around the
world have experienced situations in recent years
in which their resilience has been tested.
During these events, energy becomes a scarce resource.
Utility lines are ripped out by strong winds,
or the grid gets overloaded by a high demand for air
conditioning or heating, and thousands, sometimes
millions, of people may be left without energy. In
the best-case scenario, people are left without energy
for a few hours, and it is an inconvenience. In
the worst-case scenario, people may be left without
energy for days during inclement weather, and it
can be a matter of life and death.
In 2021, three severe winter storms left 4.5 million
homes and businesses without power during
below-freezing temperatures in Texas. At least 246
people died during the power outages, with some
sources putting the number as high as 814 deaths.
That same year, Hurricane Ida caused more than a
million people to lose power. During the aftermath
of the hurricane, an excessive heat advisory was
issued. Despite efforts to evacuate residents to state
shelters, 12 people died from heat-related causes
from the power outage. To be truly resilient during
these situations, communities need to develop decentralized
energy solutions that can keep people
comfortable and safe and prevent further tragedies.
This is where vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-everything
(V2X) come into play. When most
people think about an electric vehicle, they think of
a vehicle plugging into a charger and taking energy
from the grid. V2G and V2X challenge this idea.
With V2G and V2X, the vehicle could actually give
energy to a building, another vehicle or return it
to the grid. This emerging concept would allow
vehicles to be a potential solution to stabilize the
grid during natural disasters. On a small scale,
your vehicle could be your source of energy for
several hours during a power outage. On a large
scale, V2G and V2X could be a game changer for
an entire community.
Transit is the Resilience Solution
We've Been Looking For
How does transit fit into this problem? Well, many
transit agencies across the U.S. have committed to
converting their vehicle fleets to fully zero-emission
vehicles by 2040. Some agencies have even taken a
more ambitious approach and plan to have a fully
electric fleet by 2030 or sooner. This transition offers
a tremendous opportunity to improve resilience
around the country.
The battery-electric buses (BEBs) that transit
agencies use have batteries that can store significantly
more energy than a personal vehicle, which
means that BEBs have more potential to deliver the
larger-scale benefits of V2G and V2X. Currently, a
fleet of 30 BEBs has the battery capacity to power an
average hospital for a full day. BEB manufacturers
are constantly working to make batteries with even
more capacity, and this number is expected to grow
in the future.
Many people may think about this concept
and wonder if transit fleets are the right vehicles
to provide this service. Many transit vehicles are
in service more than 14 hours a day and do not
have a lot of downtime compared to other types of
fleets. School buses, for example, only run in the
mornings and afternoons and even have multiple
months each year where they don't run at all when
school is out of session. While school buses and
other fleets may be part of the solution too, transit
vehicles have a special purpose in the greater V2G
and V2X framework.
During natural disasters, transit agencies help
people evacuate and get to a safer place. That means
that transit vehicles are likely already onsite at evacuation
centers, giving transit vehicles
the perfect opportunity to use
V2X capabilities to provide energy
to the evacuation center and keep
people safe and comfortable.
Even during situations that
don't require a full-scale evacuation,
transit buses still have the
potential to provide this incredibly
important service. Bus service
is often used as an indicator of
whether school and even work is
canceled during inclement weather.
If transit can't run, that's usually
a good indicator the city will
be shut down for the day. While
buses are grounded during these
events, they could be supplying energy
back to the grid to help utility
companies handle the influx of
demand for energy.
V2G and V2X are not exclusive
" The transition to
zero-emission vehicles and
emergence of V2G and V2X
add yet another way transit
agencies can be there for
their communities when they
need support the most. "
to BEBs or at least not for very long. The Mobility
House, in partnership with New Flyer, the Center
for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) and
AC Transit, is already leading the charge on one
of the biggest innovations in the V2G and V2X
space, unlocking the potential of hydrogen fuel cell
technology for V2G and V2X.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is one of the latest
innovations in the clean transportation space. It
uses hydrogen and oxygen to generate energy to
power vehicles. This new technology creates the
potential for a continuous energy source that could
NOVEMBER 2022 | | Mass Transit | 37

November 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November 2022

Editor’s Notebook
People & Places
Best Practices: Data Management
Best Practices for Cybersecurity
2022 Transit Safety & Security Report
GCRTA’s five areas of concentration for a robust DBE program
Mixed Fleets: The future of microtransit and paratransit
Beyond Carbon Reduction: Electric Buses Provide Resilience for Climate Emergencies
November 2022 - 1
November 2022 - 2
November 2022 - 3
November 2022 - 4
November 2022 - 5
November 2022 - Editor’s Notebook
November 2022 - 7
November 2022 - People & Places
November 2022 - 9
November 2022 - 10
November 2022 - 11
November 2022 - 12
November 2022 - 13
November 2022 - Best Practices: Data Management
November 2022 - 15
November 2022 - Best Practices for Cybersecurity
November 2022 - 17
November 2022 - 18
November 2022 - 19
November 2022 - 20
November 2022 - 21
November 2022 - 2022 Transit Safety & Security Report
November 2022 - 23
November 2022 - 24
November 2022 - 25
November 2022 - 26
November 2022 - 27
November 2022 - GCRTA’s five areas of concentration for a robust DBE program
November 2022 - 29
November 2022 - 30
November 2022 - 31
November 2022 - Mixed Fleets: The future of microtransit and paratransit
November 2022 - 33
November 2022 - 34
November 2022 - 35
November 2022 - Beyond Carbon Reduction: Electric Buses Provide Resilience for Climate Emergencies
November 2022 - 37
November 2022 - 38
November 2022 - 39
November 2022 - Products
November 2022 - 41
November 2022 - 42
November 2022 - 43
November 2022 - 44