OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new project funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) will demonstrate the value of bi-directional electric vehicle charging to support a one-of-a-kind vehicle-to-building (V2B) resiliency hub. This groundbreaking project will leverage stored energy from zero-emission electric buses, owned and operated by AC Transit, to provide filtered air conditioning at the West Oakland Branch of the Oakland Public Library to local residents in the event of heat or unhealthy smoke. CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge provided the project with $3.2 million in funding, with a total of $400,000 in matching funds provided by the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) and AC Transit. This pilot study is known locally as “V2B Oakland” and will be executed by a core green energy project team: Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), The Mobility House, AC Transit, New Flyer, Schneider Electric, City of Oakland and WOEIP.
Each Battery Electric Bus (BEB) will provide six hours of backup power to critical library loads, and each Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB) will provide up to 11 continuous hours of backup power, displacing nearly 100 pounds of carbon emissions per hour compared to traditional diesel standby generators. Working closely with bus manufacturer New Flyer of America Inc. (New Flyer), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), this project also marks the first time that a U.S. transit agency will have the ability to use a hydrogen vehicle for V2B backup power.
“Launching the first community resilience hub powered by a two-way V2B charging system has been an incredible journey. By combining cutting-edge technological innovation with sustainability, we are able to deliver much-needed emergency response benefits to transit agencies and communities,” said Jason Hanlin, Director of Technology Research at CTE. “For a project with so many key players, we are excited to apply CTE’s proven project management approach to bring this new project from concept to completion.”
The resilient backup power system, which combines bus exportable power supply (BEPS) capability with bi-directional chargers and intelligent software, will be integrated and tested at NFI’s Hayward facility and then deployed to a division of AC Transit bus and the Oakland Library. The system is designed to power the library’s upgraded HVAC and air filtration system, providing clean air and electricity inside the building to create public shelter in the event of an emergency and of breakdown.
“We are excited to bring our ‘vehicle-to-everything’ expertise from numerous projects in Europe and Asia to now develop the first-ever vehicle-to-building resilience center in the United States,” said Gregor Hintler, US Managing Director. from The Mobility House. “Our ChargePilot system ensures all transit mobility needs are met and orchestrates the charging and discharging of bi-directional chargers so buses can power critical building loads.”
Electric powered bus fleets are particularly suitable for backup power and emergency relief due to their energy storage capacity, electrical architecture, independent mobility and ability to be quickly dispatched . Compared to diesel generators – the current default technology for emergency backup power – BEPS offers faster response times; avoids the emission of harmful pollutants; may be more profitable; and increases the value of purchasing zero-emission vehicles and chargers by providing community support benefits.
“Powering emergency shelters with an islanded energy supply is an innovative feat that we are honored to help facilitate,” said Jana Gerber, president of Microgrids North America at Schneider Electric. “It’s also exciting to demonstrate how different technologies can integrate with each other so seamlessly and intelligently to enable critical backup power for community and infrastructure.”
“There is no doubt that providing reliable transit service to nearly 22 million annual riders is our top priority, but we also pursue partnerships and initiatives that advance zero-emissions technology,” said Michael Hursh, general manager of AC Transit. “V2B is an example of a zero-emissions program that allows us to leverage our resources to improve the resilience and emergency preparedness of the diverse communities we have served over the past 60 years.”
“NFI is proud to work with AC Transit and our other partners on this exciting project that enables our vehicles to act as generators supporting resilience and emergency preparedness. This platform, the world’s first vehicle-to-vehicle fuel cell electric bus, will be a game-changer for electric propulsion technology and dramatically expand the capabilities and usefulness of our mobility solutions,” said Paul Soubry, President and CEO. , NFI.
“Many low-income communities of color share streets and fences with the freight industry and suffer deadly pollution from burning oil. offer another tool in the toolbox of zero-emission freight transport opportunities. Communities like West Oakland will benefit from an expanded set of transportation energy options by achieving cleaner, safer streets and air quality. – Brian Beveridge, co-executive director of WOIEP.
The infrastructure is expected to be installed by mid-2023, and demonstration, analysis, evaluation and knowledge transfer for the pilot program will continue through July 2025.
About The House of Mobility
Mobility House’s mission is to create an emissions-free mobility and energy future. Since 2009, the company has developed an extensive ecosystem of partners to intelligently integrate electric vehicles into the power grid, including manufacturers of electric vehicle chargers, more than 1,000 installation partners, more than 80 energy suppliers and automakers ranging from Audi to Tesla. The ChargePilot smart charging and energy management system and underlying EV aggregation platform enables customers and partners to integrate electric vehicles into the grid for optimized and scalable operations. Mobility House’s unique, vendor-neutral and interoperable technology approach to smart charging and energy management has been proven successful in over 800 commercial installations worldwide. The Mobility House has more than 250 employees in its operations in Munich, Zurich and Belmont, California. For more information, visit mobilityhouse.com.
The Center for Transportation and the Environment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health of our climate and our communities by bringing people together to develop and commercialize clean transportation technologies , effective and durable. CTE works with federal, state and local governments, fleets and automotive technology manufacturers to achieve our mission. More information on www.cte.tv.
About the NFI
Drawing on 450 years of combined experience, NFI is leading the electrification of mass mobility worldwide. With zero-emission buses and coaches, infrastructure and technology, NFI meets today’s urban demands for scalable smart mobility solutions. Together, NFI makes cities more livable through connected, clean and sustainable transportation.
With 7,500 team members in nine countries, NFI is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mass mobility solution buses under the brands New Flyer® (heavy transit buses), MCI® (coaches), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double deck buses), Plaxton (coaches), ARBOC® (low floor cutaway and medium duty buses) and NFI Parts™. NFI currently offers the widest range of sustainable drive systems available, including zero-emission electricity (truck, battery, and fuel cell), natural gas, hybrid electric, and clean diesel. In total, NFI supports its installed base of over 105,000 buses and coaches worldwide. NFI’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) under the symbol NFI and its convertible unsecured debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI.DB. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com.
About the new flyer
New Flyer is North America’s leader in heavy-duty transit buses and offers the most advanced product line under the Xcelsior® and Xcelsior CHARGE® brands. It also offers infrastructure development through NFI Infrastructure Solutions™, a service dedicated to providing safe, sustainable and reliable charging and mobility solutions. New Flyer actively supports more than 35,000 transit buses (New Flyer, NABI and Orion) currently in service, of which 8,600 are powered by electric motors and battery propulsion and 1,900 are zero emissions. Further information is available at www.newflyer.com.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s goal is to empower everyone to make the most of our energy and resources, combining progress and sustainability for all. We call it Life Is On. Our mission is to be your digital partner for sustainability and efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating cutting-edge process and energy technologies, endpoint-to-cloud connection products, controls, software and services across the lifecycle, enabling integrated management of enterprise, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries. We are the most local of the global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems who are passionate about our shared values of Meaningful Purpose, Inclusion and Empowerment.
About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is leading the state toward a 100% clean energy future. It has seven main responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.