What clean transportation technologies are right for our community?

At the time of the Montana Solar Powered Transportation Initiative, Bozeman was a growing community with a current population of around 46,596 people. Their primary goals regarding electric vehicles were to improve air quality/reduce emissions/mitigate climate change and to decrease traffic congestion through increased transit. This focused discussion on a variety of public transportation options, including battery electric busses (BEBS).


Population: 46,596 (approx. 2019)

Major energy providers: NorthWestern Energy (investor-owned utility)

Solar market status: At the time of this Initiative, Bozeman was one of the stronger solar markets in Montana. Approximately seven solar installation businesses operated out of the greater Bozeman area. They were all small businesses with 1-10 employees.

EV market status: At the time of this Initiative , Gallatin County ranked third among Montana counties for EV registrations and Bozeman had no electric public transit vehicles.

Other notable community features: Home to Montana State University; one of the primary “gateway” communities to Yellowstone National Park; located near Big Sky, a popular ski resort.

Use case top priorities: Electric buses with on-route charging and fleet vehicles with workplace charging.

Technical Analysis provided by the Initiative: Described considerations for battery electric bus deployment and options for compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, and diesel hybrid electric public transit. Discussed what EV bus options exist, which charging technologies may pair best, and what cost/benefit tradeoffs to consider.

More information on the Bozeman case study can be found on pg. 51 of the Roadmap. Download the Roadmap.