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September 12, 2019, 10:14 am

Battery Electric Buses Charge into Service

TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority)

VANCOUVER -TransLink customers can now board zero-emission battery-electric buses when travelling through Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster. This two-and-a-half-year pilot brings TransLink one step closer toward reaching its goal of operating a fleet with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050. Alongside lower emissions, customers can expect a smoother and quieter ride.

“This pilot is a major milestone towards achieving our sustainability targets,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Our iconic trolleybuses have been running on electricity since 1948 and we’re proud to integrate the first battery-electric buses to our fleet. These buses are a testament to a strong partnership and the common goal of creating a cleaner and greener future".

In partnership with the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), the pan-Canadian pilot will begin operating on Route 100 between 22nd Street Bus Exchange and the Marpole Loop. The 30-month pilot will evaluate bus performance, maintenance, and customer experience.

A global first, this pilot will also test the cross compatibility between the buses and charging station equipment provided by four separate manufacturers: New FlyerNova BusABB and Siemens. This pilot and the future acquisition of six more battery-electric buses have been made possible thanks to contributions made by the Government of Canada and BC Hydro.

Quick facts:

  • The battery-electric buses can be charged in approximately five minutes
  • Each bus is expected to reduce 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and save $40,000 in fuel costs per year compared to a conventional diesel bus
  • More than half of TransLink’s fleet currently operates with clean technology –
    • 4 battery-electric buses
    • 262 zero-emission electric trolleybuses
    • 299 compressed natural gas buses
    • 435 hybrid diesel-electric buses
  • This battery-electric bus pilot is a part of the TransLink Tomorrow Program to help improve mobility in Metro Vancouver.

Jonathan X, Coté, Mayor of New Westminster and Mayors’ Council Chair –
“Investing in a region that is connected through sustainable transit service is why the 10-Year Mayors’ Vision was created. Residents of the region should be proud that we’ve had sustainable electric-powered trolleybuses on our streets for decades and should celebrate this important day which begins the further expansion of zero-emission technology. We are proud of this important step forward in meeting our long-term goals.”

Josipa Petrunic, CEO, CUTRIC –
“Everyone in the industry is watching Canada now. This launch solidifies Canada’s position as a global leader in the electrification of transportation, with the first ever interoperable charging system. The investments made to see this project come to life are helping Translink and Canada achieve their ambitious goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions through technology innovation."

Chris O’Riley, President and COO, BC Hydro –
“BC Hydro is very pleased to support TransLink and our partners on this electric bus pilot project as we work together to advance the electrification of transit in B.C. By helping industries like transit make the switch from fossil fuels to clean, hydroelectricity we’re helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province.”

Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada –
“Buses already help tackle climate change by getting people out of cars. And Vancouver is ahead of the game with its electric trolleys, but there is still work to be done to get every bus off diesel. With so many people taking transit in Vancouver today, electric buses will make a real difference. After all, what British Columbian wouldn’t want a healthier, cleaner, exhaust-free commute?”

Learn more:
Battery-Electric Bus Pilot
Video: On-Route Charging Video

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