TransLink launches four electric buses and two charging systems into operations

Sept. 12, 2019
Metro Vancouver can expect to see six additional electric buses as TransLink progresses its work as part of CUTRIC’s Pan-Canadian integration trial.

TransLink has begun operation of four electric buses and two high-powered, standardized overhead charging systems as part of the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial, which is led by the by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).

“Around the world, people in transit are looking here – to Metro Vancouver– to this milestone launch of the first interoperable bus system in as part of the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration which continues to advance technology, innovation and jobs in communities across Canada.  This launch helps TransLink achieve laudable goal of a fully renewables fueled fleet by 2050, and it helps Canada deliver on its promises to the world in its Paris climate commitments,” said CUTRIC CEO Josipa Petrunic.

TransLink has been part of the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial (Phase I) since 2017 with the project’s Ontario efforts launching in 2018.

"With the launch of the Battery-Electric Pilot Project, TransLink is helping set the standard in a new era in transportation. Through this partnership, the integration of standardized and interoperable battery-electric buses and high-powered overhead on-route charging systems will lead the charge towards the electrification of transit infrastructure globally,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

The four buses in operation consist of two 40-foot Xcelsior CHARGE™ heavy-duty transit buses from New Flyer Industries Canada and two 40-foot Nova Bus LFSe models with a combined six additional buses from both manufacturers still to arrive. CUTRIC estimates that each of these buses will reduce 100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save C$40,000 (US$30,342) in fuel costs annually in comparison with a conventional diesel bus.   

“New Flyer is pleased to support TransLink in the launch of zero-emission, battery-electric transit, and commends the TransLink team on its continued pursuit of innovative mobility and enhanced livability in the Vancouver metro area,” said Jennifer McNeill, vice president, sales and marketing at New Flyer. “Not only will this pilot improve community air quality, it will also shine a global light on Canadian innovation with interoperable, electric mobility brought to life.”

"Nova Bus is a Canadian leader in the electromobility market and we are honored to be part of the CUTRIC program, the first of its kind in the world. We are pleased that our expertise is recognized and, above all, that we can contribute to the multiple efforts put in place to reduce greenhouse gases while offering passengers of TransLink in Vancouver a top quality, reliable, safe and environmentally friendly buses," said Martin Larose, vice-president and general manager, Nova Bus.

In addition to the two bus manufacturers, the trial integrates two charging station manufacturers, ABB Group and Siemens Canada, to deploy electric OppCharge opportunity charging systems with inverted pantograph technology. The charging stations utilize an open protocol that was first developed by Siemens and Volvo Bus Corporation.

CUTRIC will collect data from all of the electric buses and electric chargers in operation as part of this project to build a Canadian E-Bus Big Data Trust for Canadian municipalities in 2020.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.