Analysis of Cold Weather Impacts on ZEBs

November 11, 2019

An Analysis of the Association between Changes in Ambient Temperature, Fuel Economy, and Vehicle Range for Battery Electric and Fuel Cell Electric Buses

Published: November 2019
Prepared by: The Center for Transportation and the Environment — Alison Smyth, Mark Henning, Andrew Thomas in partnership with Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence (MHCoE), Cleveland State University, and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA)


This report evaluates the effects of changing weather on zero emission bus performance. The report relies on selected data that was made available to the Study Team from transit agencies that have deployed hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric zero emission buses.

All transit buses, regardless of fuel source, experience some loss of range in extreme weather. As transit agencies plan to replace their traditional diesel-fueled buses with zero emission buses, they will need to consider the effects of extreme weather on the new buses replacing their existing fleets. This report collects zero emission bus data and evaluates the effects of change in ambient temperature on the efficiency and range for those buses. The report does not recommend that transit agencies adopt any particular zero emission technology for any given climate. Rather, it seeks to provide transit agencies with planning insights as they contemplate strategies for replacing their own existing fleets with zero emission buses.

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