BC Transit awards Proterra contract for first electric buses in Victoria

May 25, 2022
The buses are expected to begin arriving in the summer of 2023 as BC Transit looks to fully convert its fleet to electric by 2040.

Proterra has been awarded a non-exclusive contract from BC Transit to supply the first electric buses and charging infrastructure to Victoria, British Columbia.

BC Transit says the contract advances its Low Carbon Fleet Program as it aims to transition to an entirely electric fleet by 2040. The Low Carbon Fleet Program was announced in 2019 and includes a 10-year fleet strategy to replace more than 1,200 buses with electric buses.

“This project is an exciting step with our first battery electric buses and chargers, but more than that, it’s the beginning of a transformation critical to supporting the future and staving off the worst outcomes of climate change,” said BC Transit Program Director of the Low Carbon Fleet Program Chad Berndt.

The contract awarded to Proterra is for the C$20 million (US$15.6 million) Victoria electric bus project. Proterra will supply 10 built-to-order buses for BC Transit and start delivery in the summer of 2023. One electric bus will be deployed in Victoria in fall 2022.

“The contract award for the first 10 electric buses is an important and significant milestone that sets BC Transit firmly on the path to replace existing diesel buses with electric ones. People are looking for ways to reduce emissions in their everyday lives. Electric buses further solidify BC Transit as a proven solution,” said BC Transit President and CEO Erinn Pinkerton.

The contract allows BC Transit the option of purchasing more heavy-duty electric buses, charging equipment and supporting services in the future. BC Transit anticipates replacing up to 500 heavy-duty buses in the next 10 years. While the Proterra awarded contract carries the potential to supply all the expected replacements, the contract also provides BC Transit flexibility to respond to changing market dynamics and technology.

“Proterra is incredibly proud to partner with BC Transit to bring our industry-leading electric transit buses and EV technology solutions to help drive British Columbia’s transition to zero-emission transportation. Through its embrace of innovative technology and historic commitment to electrification, BC Transit is leading the way for communities across North America to follow,” said Proterra CEO Gareth Joyce.

Funding for the project is being shared by the government of Canada and the government of British Columbia that will each contribute 40 percent of costs. The federal government is providing funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

“This is an important first step toward BC Transit’s goal of achieving a zero-emission transit system by 2040. Clean, green, efficient and affordable public transit is a key component of our government’s strategy to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. These new electric vehicles represent the future of public transit in B.C. and I look forward to seeing them on the road next year,” said the province’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming.

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