Public transit riders will be able to try an all-electric bus that will be operating on the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) and Société de transport de Montréal (STM) systems.
Public transit riders will be able to try an all-electric bus that will be operating on the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) and Société de transport de Montréal (STM) systems. The STO and STM will be jointly assessing the performance of a bus made by Chinese company BYD. The field testing with riders will run for a total of 10 months, starting with the STO in July and continuing with the STM in early 2014.
The objective of the two transit corporations is to assess the overall performance of this bus in varying weather conditions and the resulting road conditions, compared with a regular diesel powered bus. The project will also help to determine the battery range, especially in cold temperatures, and passenger comfort.
"As the instigator of the project, the STO is especially interested in this testing because bus fleet electrification is part of its 2005-2015 strategic development plan," explained STO Chairman Patrice Martin. "Field testing will enable the transit corporations to share the results of the different projects in progress and determine the technology that best meets their needs. This initiative represents a step towards the targeted acquisition of all-electric buses, meaning zero emissions. The STO is embarking on the path to greener ways of doing things," stated Mr. Martin.
"Taking this direction towards sustainable mobility and clean energy is part of the Quebec government's vision with its Electric Vehicles 2011-2020 Action Plan. We know that the government will pursue its commitment by supporting new technologies capable of helping to reduce GHGs to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 in accordance with its Climate Change Action Plan currently being developed," added the STO's chairman.
The electric bus is 12 metres long, seats 31 passengers and has an innovative design. It has a slow charge battery system that offers greater autonomy. It will operate mainly on routes 41, 49, 51, 52, 53, 57 and 59 in the Aylmer sector, although it may occasionally also operate elsewhere in the STO's system.
In Montreal, the vehicle will operate until May 2014 along routes in different sectors on weekdays, especially in the winter. It will be instrumented and assessed on different types of routes with varying slopes, frequent stops and high ridership.
"This agreement clearly illustrates the collaboration between the STM and STO to assess the technologies that best suit their respective needs. This technology assessment project aims to better meet Montreal's and the Quebec government's process with respect to energy and sustainable development. It is closely linked to the overall electrification strategy for the Société's surface system. Testing the BYD electric bus is one more step in reaching the objective of the 2020 strategic plan. Acquiring only zero emission vehicles for the surface system as of 2025 will make it possible to reduce our direct GHG and air contaminant emissions to zero in 2040. The electrification of public transit in Montreal is therefore 100% good for the planet!" added Mr. Labrecque, STM Board Chairman.
Both transit corporations will invite riders who travel on the electric bus to complete a short survey to share their experience and submit their comments.
Coordinated by the Société de gestion et d’acquisition de véhicules de transport (AVT), formed by Quebec's nine transit corporations, this assessment project will benefit all of them through sharing of the data gathered and the findings.
Carrying out this project represents a total investment of $240,000 and has been made possible thanks to a contribution from the Quebec government which will defray up to 50% of the eligible costs.