Location: Ogden, UT Fleet Type: Electric Transit Buses, EV Workforce Development
The partnership between Utah Clean Cities (UCC) and Weber State University (WSU) embarked on its journey with a shared vision of enhancing the campus shuttle system’s sustainability. This initial engagement laid the foundation for a dynamic and enduring partnership. Over the span of five years, the relationship has flourished, driven by a dedicated focus on collaboration with the Weber State Automotive Engineering Department and its pioneering WeEV program, which brings EV automotive technician curriculum training to high schools along the Wasatch Front. This partnership has expanded to include multiple academic and industry partners, reflecting a collective commitment to workforce development, electrification training, apprenticeships, and engineering innovations.
“Clean transportation encompasses a range of disciplines, from electrical engineering to environmental sciences. This interdisciplinary nature is exciting as it appeals to a diverse range of communities and technical enthusiasts looking to contribute to the electrified transportation sector. Weber State University offers cutting-edge programs that bridge diverse backgrounds and prepare individuals for the future of transportation.” – Tammie Bostick, UCC Executive Director
A significant milestone marked the culmination of these efforts in August 2022, when the Utah Transit Authority and WSU jointly inaugurated the first segment of the Ogden Express Bus Rapid Transit (OGX) line. This achievement heralded the introduction of six all-electric buses to Weber State’s Wildcat Shuttle system, offering a sustainable and accessible transportation option for the campus community. Operating with a frequency of every 10 minutes on weekdays, the all-electric shuttles have swiftly become a cornerstone of campus mobility. These shuttles are not only a means of transportation but also a canvas for artistic expression, as Weber State staff’s creativity is vividly displayed through campus-inspired art adorning the shuttle stations. The eventual completion of the full Ogden Express Bus Rapid Transit (OGX) line aims to interconnect vital destinations in Ogden.
Outputs and Outcomes
In addition to rollout of the OGX Express buses and their associated emissions reductions, Weber State’s Automotive Engineering Department has seen remarkable outputs and outcomes from its WeEV program, which has successfully addressed a gap in the current EV ecosystem within the state. WeEV offers training for high school students to become proficient in servicing electric and hybrid vehicles. WeEV stands as a national model, employing a “train the trainer” approach, providing the curriculum, deploying trainers to high schools, and equipping teachers with the tools and resources needed to deliver the curriculum effectively.
On June 3 2023, Utah Clean Cities, Weber State University and the Utah State Motor Vehicle Division accepted the UCAIR Community Partner of the Year Award together for their collaboration on WeEV.
Best Practices & Lessons Learned
Collaborative Partnerships: The project’s strength lies in fostering collaborative partnerships with an array of stakeholders, ranging from technical schools to industry partners. This collaborative approach ensures comprehensive and high-quality training for EV technicians.
Inclusive Approach: The integration of apprenticeships, scholarships, and STEM programming underscores an inclusive approach to workforce development.
Alignment with Industry Trends: The project’s focus on training qualified EV technicians and incorporating clean transportation technologies, such as electrification and fuel cells, aligns with evolving industry trends. This strategic approach ensures technicians are well-prepared for the dynamic landscape of clean transportation.
Replicability and Scalability: The project’s collaborative model, leveraging existing institutions and resources, exemplifies its replicability and scalability. Partnerships established during the project can serve as models for other regions, fostering the widespread adoption of effective training practices for EV technicians and clean transportation technologies.
Workforce Development: Offering some of the leading EV training in the nation, WSU’s program offers online and virtual training in addition to in person Boot Camps to effectively train fleet managers, vehicles operator and other key fleet personnel on the operations and maintenance of EVs ranging from light duty EVs and hybrid to Heavy-duty electric vehicles such as refuse haulers and trucks.