Our commitment to a 100% electric network
In 2025, 46 new electric buses will be added to our network. Starting in 2026, we’ll add 140 per year to reach our goal of an all-electric network by 2040.
Hybrid buses have been gradually replacing diesel buses since spring 2016, paving the way for the electrification of the network. Based on projections that take into account the useful life of a bus, as well as depreciation and fleet upgrades, we expect our fleet to be fully electric by 2040.
Our 100% electric buses
We currently have 42 electric buses in our fleet:
- 7 fast-charging electric buses
- 1 electric vehicle for paratransit trips
- 30 long-range electric buses
- 4 midibuses, which are of intermediate size (30 feet)—between a minibus and a regular bus
Limiting GHG emissions
According to a 2016 study, every tonne of GHGs emitted by the STM can prevent about 20 tonnes from being emitted in the Greater Montréal area. Electrifying our network will further contribute to the fight against climate change by reducing our own GHG emissions.
Our first electric minibus made its debut at the St-Michel bus garage in 2021. It’s a Girardin BlueBird G5E. This vehicle has the same capacity as the standard minibuses already in use and has a range of 200 kilometres.
Our 30 long-range New Flyer buses have been in operation on our regular bus routes since 2019. They have a range of 250 kilometres and are equipped with air conditioning to ensure customer comfort.
The advantages of electric buses
- More comfortable thanks to smoother handling on the road
- Quieter ride
- LED lighting
Depending on the bus configuration:
- Air conditioning
- USB ports
- Second reserved area for wheelchair users
- Charger plug
Our first fully electric bus hit the road in 2017. Today, there are seven fast-charging electric buses that run out of the Lasalle bus garage. Three are dedicated to line 36 Monk, making it the first fully electric line in Canada.
Our buses charging at Angrignon station (left) and Square-Victoria–OACI station (right) during the launch of the City Mobility project.
How can fast-charging electric buses run all day? It’s all thanks to the fast-charging system (see video, in French only) at the start and end of every route.
We equipped two stations—Angrignon and Square-Victoria–OACI—with fast-charging systems so that the buses could be charged at the start and end of their routes. With these systems, buses are recharged and ready to hit the road in less than 5 minutes.
Once the bus is stopped and positioned under the charging station, the pantograph extends downward to connect to the contact bars on the roof. Once done, the arm retracts itself and the bus turns around for its next run.
At night, the buses are recharged at slow-charging stations. This also balances the buses’ batteries.
When we talk about electrifying our surface system, it’s not just about acquiring fully electric vehicles. It’s also about retrofitting our bus garages so that we can integrate new technologies.
Our lab at the Stinson bus garage
We’ve been electrifying our infrastructure to make it compatible with electric buses. The Stinson bus garage was the first to be partially electrified.
Stinson has been our lab for all things electrification since 2019, which is when we began running tests with the charging technologies at the garage to find the best ways to maximize the use of our electric buses.
Did you know that the Stinson bus garage is LEED Gold certified and has one of the largest green roofs in Quebec?
The garage is equipped with pantographs and charger plugs with a capacity of 150 kWh. This is the minimum power required to achieve the ideal charging time and optimize service delivery with electric buses.
We’ve already equipped our Angrignon and Square-Victoria–OACI stations with two outdoor pantographs to charge the electric buses on line 36 Monk.
We’ve also installed pantographs inside the Stinson bus garage. And because a bus garage never sleeps, we had to pull out all the stops! Keeping the bus aisles clear and protecting the work areas without disrupting service is a challenge in itself. We were one of the first transit agencies to install indoor pantographs.
We now have nine indoor pantographs at the Stinson bus garage.
The charger plugs are very safe and can be handled without special gear. We installed 44 outlets like this, plus two mobile chargers for the maintenance area.
Using a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, we can view and monitor the buses’ charge status remotely and make sure that buses are recharged as needed.
Above are the 12 chargers that power the buses in the four electrically equipped aisles. Since this equipment generates heat, we installed a ventilation and air conditioning system to control the room temperature.
Major work to adapt our bus garages
Our bus garages need to be adapted to house and charge the newest fleet of electric buses. This will involve major work, including:
- Increasing the electrical input capacity of the garages
- Purchasing and installing chargers
- Acquiring and installing smart charging management systems
- Rethinking the layout of the bus garages