Fleet Electrification Project:

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Detailed Planning for a Zero-Emission Bus Fleet Transition

Client: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Location: Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, more commonly known as the T, is one of the oldest public transit systems in the United States. It’s also the largest transit system in Massachusetts. As a division of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), MBTA provides subway, bus, commuter rail, ferry, and paratransit service to eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.

As MBTA and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) make commitments to reduce GHG emissions and convert their fleet to an all-electric fleet, their project will require route analysis, bus battery sizing, building charging infrastructure and upgrades to electrical infrastructure.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Logo

Enel X and Microgrid Labs (MGL) are supporting this transition to all-electric vehicles by providing an innovative electrification planning and analysis solution that will help develop MBTA’s electrification strategy.

The software component of the solution, the Electric Vehicle Optimization Tool (“EVOPT”), developed by Microgrid Labs and the University of California Berkeley, will address key barriers in electric bus (“eBus”) public fleet electrification by reducing planning costs and total cost of ownership through a novel software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform with detailed planning, simulation, design, and charging optimization features.

During this project, EVOPT will be utilized to determine potential charging strategies and load profiles for the electric public transit bus fleets to be deployed in Quincy and North Cambridge in Massachusetts in partnership with MBTA. The project aims to significantly reduce total costs of ownership and greenhouse gas emissions for MBTA as well as further develop the software platform for future use by other public transit agencies.

The analysis for this project will be divided into two phases: The first will be to analyze the Quincy depot in order to aide MBTA in the development of a Load Letter for submission to the electric utility serving the Quincy location. In the second phase, the lessons learned during phase one will be implemented to streamline the analysis of the North Cambridge Depot.

The analysis will also include insights regarding the optimal sizing of vehicle powertrain, battery size, charging infrastructure, energy infrastructure including microgrids, as well as the development of an optimal charging strategy. Both the solution and the software have the potential to be applied in other markets.