12 Apr 2017


The Canadian city of Brampton's transit authority received the green light to purchase up to ten battery-electric buses and four high powered overhead electric charging stations in a bid to lower carbon emissions and fuel costs.

The $13.6 million capital project is part of the Pan-Ontario Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial, a partnership model made up of multiple levels of government, bus manufacturers and other stakeholders, including the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC). Automation firms ABB and Siemens from Europe will build the charging stations.

New Flyer Industries and Volvo Bus subsidiar Novabus will supply the buses, which could hit Brampton’s streets as early as spring 2018. Other levels of government are expected to offset some of the costs, according to a staff report.

Brampton Transit currently operates a fleet of 407 buses, including conventional diesel and 99 diesel-electric hybrid Züm buses.

Transit staff said the electric bus trial would allow the city to compare efficiencies, maintenance costs “and validate electric vehicle technology as a viable alternative fuel source”.

Brampton Transit spent $10.8 million on diesel fuel last year. Under the Province’s new cap-and-trade system, fuel costs in 2017 are expected to increase by an estimated $570,000 annually (anticipated carbon pricing will increase diesel fuel cost by an estimated four to five per cent).

Another benefit is reduced maintenance cost. Maintenance on electric buses is estimated to be 50 per cent less than conventional diesel buses, said staff.

Electric buses take approximately three to five minutes to fully charge using smart-grid technology.

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