Blog| Bus28th March 2024

Leveraging Low-No to Install Worry-Free Charging Infrastructure

By Jessie Peters, Director of Marketing Americas  

The United States Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) released this fiscal year’s highly anticipated Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Low and No Emission program, or Low-No, on February 8th. Along with the Bus & Bus Facilities program, released in tandem, the FTA makes approximately $1.7 billion available to transit agencies to upgrade their facilities’ low- and no-emission buses and supporting infrastructure. Specifically, the program offers 85% of funding for transit buses and 90% for associated low- and no-emission infrastructure, including EV charging stations. As such, the Low-No grant application process incentivizes well-thought-out charge management systems. When included alongside any bus procurements under Low-No, these systems help transit agencies reduce pain points associated with the management of a zero-emission battery electric bus fleet. 

EO Charging Blog - Low No

Including Charging Infrastructure in a Low-No Grant Application 

Recognizing the importance of including dedicated charging infrastructure and expertise in the Low-No application, EO Charging developed an innovative Low-No Charging Infrastructure package designed to provide transit agencies with charge assurance, making the most of the FTA’s FY24 Low-No funding. EO’s Low-No solution ensures that with each EV charger purchased, the agency is covered for three, five, or seven years of EO Charge Assurance, in addition to the manufacturer’s standard warranty.   

In developing this package, we’ve identified three critical elements of a Low-No Charging Infrastructure Solution that should be included in agency charging infrastructure requests – both for Low-No and moving forward.  

1. Best-in-class Hardware: Transit agencies have been partnering with bus OEMs for Low-No funding to ensure that buses procured meet their unique needs, and they shouldn’t have to compromise on charging hardware either. US transit agencies can select from a variety of vendors to procure the right charging system for their depot. Regardless of hardware brand, depots should be able to use an agnostic platform to receive best-in-class charge management features ahead of any zero-emission bus deployments. EO will deliver unprecedented uptime, regardless of OCPP-compiant charging station, to ensure that electric buses are charged and where they need to be, when they need to be there.   

2. Charge Management Software: To help maximize smooth operations, each charger procured through Low-No should come commissioned onto a charge management platform, like the EO Cloud. With charge management, agencies remain in the driver’s seat on scheduling and daily operations and receive the quickest path to resolution if a charger goes down.  

3. Technical Support: Included in the cost of each charger should come on-site technical support and a partner ready to address any issues that may arise. Specifically, charging infrastructure requested through Low-No should include: 

  • 24/7/365 support and troubleshooting 

  • Proactive monitoring via a Technical Operation Center (TOC) 

  • Over-the-air troubleshooting and fault resolution 

  • On-site response within 24 hours for issues not solved remotely 

  • Fault and uptime reporting 

The agency should be considered a lifelong partner with each of the above three elements. Thus, working with a charging infrastructure provider like EO, agencies should have the opportunity to continue the support required to achieve charge assurance for the life of their electrified depot.  

No Out-of-pocket Capital Expenditure Required 

Finally, with the Low-No Program specifically, the FTA understands that transit agencies may need to use flexible procurement means to help speed the transition to zero-emission buses. As such, leasing options such as EO’s Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS) program should be made available to improve the accessibility of developing an electrified fleet. EO has structured our CaaS program as a capital lease wherein the cost of the EV charging capital project is paid for overtime using regular, predictable monthly or annual CaaS payments.  

To learn more about applying for a Low-No grant with EO Charging as your partner, please visit our website to request a solution catalog here.