BC Transit to roll out its first fully electric bus in Greater Victoria this fall

BC Transit to roll out its first fully electric bus in Greater Victoria this fall
BC Transit
BC Transit will roll out Greater Victoria's first electric bus this fall.

The first of Greater Victoria’s heavy-duty battery-powered buses will hit the streets this fall with another 10 to roll out next summer, BC Transit announced Tuesday.

BC Transit said it has finalized and awarded a contract for its first 10 heavy-duty electric buses to Proterra Operating Company Inc., part of the company’s push to have an entirely electric bus fleet by 2040.

The $20-million contract ends a procurement process that was launched in fall 2020 and allows BC Transit the option of buying additional electric buses, charging equipment and other services in the future.

“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 in a statement.

“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.”

BC Transit currently has buses that run on compressed natural gas, but this will be its first fully battery-powered bus to join the fleet.

The battery-powered electric buses are zero-emission, meaning they save approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases per year when replacing a diesel bus, the company said. BC Transit also touts the vehicles as being more efficient and quieter, with lower annual operating costs.

Up to 500 heavy-duty buses are expected to be replaced in the next 10 years, and the company says its non-exclusive contract with Proterra will give it the flexibility to respond to an ever-changing market and technology.

The federal government is chipping in 40 per cent of eligible costs through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program.

The next 10 built-to-order electric buses are expected to be delivered starting in summer 2023.


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