BC Transit has announced a six-month trial for a 40-foot battery electric transit bus will take place in Victoria this January.
Officials say the aim of the trial is to evaluate factors such as the range, operational processes and requirements of modern bus technology.
The first stage will be focused on operational training and evaluation and will be followed by the bus being put in regular service for the remainder of the trial.
It is not the first time BC Transit has trialled electric buses, but it is the first time they are planning to put the vehicle in into regular service.
The electric bus is manufactured by a company called BYD and is powered by a 324-kilowatt-hour battery giving it a 250-kilometre range on a single charge.
Ted Dowling, vice president of BYD Canada, was in attendance at the announcement.
“The bus is a lot quieter,” said Dowling when asked about possible rider impressions, “They’re going to feel the ride is a little bit better, one of the other things about the benefits of an electric bus is that it costs a lot less to operate, about 70 per cent less to operate than a regular diesel bus.”
The costs of the first charge station for BC Transit will be covered by BYD.
“BC Transit and the Regional Victoria Transit Commission are committed to building a more sustainable future, we know a full city bus can take 40 vehicles off the road saving 10, 646 liters of fuel,” said Susan Brice, the chair of the Victoria Transit Commission, “We need to look at the equipment we are using and be ready when the new more environmental equipment makes sense in the North American context.”
The possible routes for the bus have not yet been announced, but officials say the bus will be used all over Greater Victoria.