The province’s first electric transit bus is expected to start servicing the Capital Region this year.
BC Transit’s initial rollout of electric buses and charging infrastructure will see Greater Victoria get its first bus in the fall before 10 more are delivered in the summer of 2023.
The first EV bus arrival is part of BC Transit’s aim to have an entirely electric fleet by 2040, according to a news release. Through its Low Carbon Fleet Program, BC Transit is looking to replace 500 heavy-duty buses in the next 10 years.
The transit provider touted how the buses being able to draw from the province’s renewable energy sources will result in nearly zero operating emissions. Electric buses are also quieter and have lower operating costs, the releases said.
“People are looking for ways to reduce emissions in their everyday lives, electric buses further solidify BC Transit as a proven solution,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit’s president and CEO.
The $20-million contract to build and deliver the buses was awarded to Proterra this month. The contract will be flexible to the changing electric bus market, but allows the option of purchasing more heavy-duty electric buses, charging equipment and supporting services in the future, BC Transit said.
The news release called Proterra a leader in zero-emission transit vehicles and commercial EV technology. The company has more than 800 battery-powered commercial vehicles already in service – in the form of school and coach buses or construction and delivery vehicles.
Replacing a diesel bus with one of Proterra’s battery-electric buses will amount to a 230,000-pound annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the release said.
The electric bus project is being cost-shared between the federal government and the province.
“This is an important first step toward BC Transit’s goal of achieving a zero-emission transit system by 2040,” said Transportation Minister Rob Fleming. “Clean, green, efficient and affordable public transit is a key component of our government’s strategy to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.”
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