Four new fast-charging electric-battery buses will be on the roads in Metro Vancouver starting next year, as part of a pilot program, TransLink announced on Thursday.
TransLink said the two-and-a-half year integration trial is part of a pan-Canadian initiative led by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).
“Mass transit has always scored high as a sustainable way to move large numbers of people, but many transit vehicles still use carbon-based fuels,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “With this fast-charge, battery-electric trial, TransLink is getting the on-the-ground experience we need to develop our Low Carbon Fleet Strategy and transition towards a zero-emission fleet.”
Manufacturers New Flyer and Nova Bus will each produce two electric-battery buses for testing on Route 100, travelling along Marine Drive through Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster.
“The electric bus trial is a significant step for Metro Vancouver, especially as gas and diesel vehicles are the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in our region,” said Metro Vancouver Chair Greg Moore. “These are the viable alternatives we are looking at as we develop our Climate 2050 Strategy, which aims to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change, and our ongoing initiatives to reduce harmful emissions of diesel particulate matter.”
High-powered charging stations provided by ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) and Siemens Canada will be installed at each end of the route: one at Marpole Bus Loop and the other at 22nd Avenue SkyTrain Station. These stations will deliver a rapid charge within four-to-seven minutes while the buses are in layover, ensuring sufficient charge is maintained for reliable service.
TransLink will collect data on bus and charging station cross-compatibility as well as vehicle performance, maintenance and overall customer experience.