Ready to Dispense your ZEV future. Zero Emission Vehicles.

While 2021 was another year full of many unknowns, one thing was certain – FHU is moving forward toward a zero-emission future with the vision and goals to guide the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado’s transit partner agencies in doing so.

The collaborative result is Colorado’s first-ever Transit Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Roadmap, “a comprehensive and adaptable guide for transit agencies, key stakeholders, and the State of Colorado to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and implement the zero emission transit strategies.”

The Roadmap supports the goals of the 2020 Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan to transition 1,000 transit vehicles to ZEV by 2030, with full fleet transition by 2050. This is an ambitious goal and one that will only be realized through partnerships and the commitment of transit agencies and local, regional, and state agencies in coordination with Colorado’s 50-plus utility providers.

A hand holding a PEZ dispenser right-side up. The label on the dispenser reads "Ready to Dispense Your ZEV Future" with the FHU logo

FHU IS READY TO DISPENSE YOUR ZEV FUTURE: For the launch of the Transit ZEV Roadmap, our firm is excited to send out PEZ candy dispensers with more information on EV funding options.

In addition to providing a comprehensive inventory of Colorado’s current transit fleet, the Roadmap explores near-term barriers and opportunities for conversion to ZEVs and identifies realistic timelines and funding levels needed to achieve statewide transit targets. Importantly, the Roadmap lays out strategies and policies for the State to support transit agencies in their fleet transition efforts.

Transit already reduces emissions through decreasing vehicle miles traveled, and widespread adoption of ZEVs in transit will augment these existing benefits. We at FHU have years of dedicated experience committed to advancing clean transportation solutions and helping achieve Colorado’s 2050 GHG emission reduction goals.

New Funding Elevates Opportunities

At the time the Roadmap was developed, we thought the biggest barrier to fleet transition to ZEV was going to be funding. Fortunately, 2021 resulted in extensive advancement of funding for ZEVs at both the state and national levels.

The Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 21-260 and Governor Polis signed the bill into law in June 2021. SB 260 is the most comprehensive transportation funding package to pass in Colorado in decades and includes the creation of the Clean Transit Enterprise.

The Clean Transit Enterprise will support public transit electrification planning efforts, facility upgrades, fleet motor vehicle replacement, as well as construction and development of electric motor vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure. SB 260 allows the enterprise to impose a clean transit retail delivery fee to fund its operations and to issue grants, loans or rebates to support electrification of public transit to the tune of $134 million over the next 10 years.

The Clean Transit Enterprise Governing Board met for the first time in January 2022 and is charged with developing a 10-Year Plan that includes near-term funding priorities. The hope is that the Transit ZEV Roadmap can serve as a foundational element for the development of the 10-Year Plan.

Approved by Congress in 2021 and signed into law by President Biden in November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) includes billions of dollars in competitive funding for new and existing programs, including a significant boost in available funding for ZEV through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Buses and Bus Facilities (5339(b)) and Low or No Emissions (5339(c)) grant programs. The BIL authorizes a 30% increase in authorized funding levels for 5339(b) and 5339(c)and an additional $1.1 billion per year for Low or No Emissions competitive grants. The allocation for Low or No Emissions funding for rural areas also increases from 10% to 15% under the BIL.

The BIL amended statutory requirements so that agencies applying for Buses and Bus Facilities or Low or No Emissions funding must have a Zero Emission Transition Plan in place, according to an FTA “Dear Colleague Letter” announcement December 1, 2021. Further guidance on Plan development is anticipated in early 2022.

FTA expects to release the Notice of Funding Opportunity for both Buses and Bus Facilities and Low or No Emissions Vehicles in the first quarter of 2022. FHU will once again be working with the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies and CDOT to submit a consolidated set of applications for each of these competitive funding programs.

FHU is committed to advancing clean transit solutions across Colorado and has extensive experience working with Colorado’s rural, resort, and urban transit agencies. We understand the unique needs of each agency, and we are well versed in ZEV transition planning. If your agency is ready to FLIP THE SWITCH to dispense your ZEV FUTURE, we’re happy to help.

Cady Dawson

Check Out the Colorado Transit ZEV Roadmap

Executive Summary

Full Roadmap

The appendices and additional documents can be found on CDOT’s website.