The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) has partnered with seven research institutes in creating North America's first-ever cluster of post-secondary institutions dedicated specifically to researching battery-electric and fuel-cell electric buses — collectively known as "zero-emissions buses" (ZEB).
- CUTRIC is supporting research into electric and hydrogen bus simulation and modelling tools, as well as the visualization of battery-electric bus and fuel-cell electric bus performance in three dimensions, and powertrain optimization that will improve bus motors, batteries and hydrogen fuel-cell stacks.
- The group is also supporting cybersecurity research to ensure electrified buses cannot be hacked and that the electrical grid is protected.
- CUTRIC's NAC-ZEB research will allow federal, provincial and municipal governments to make better decisions when it comes to procuring and deploying zero-emission buses across Canada.
CUTRIC and its members are contributing a total of $4.2 million in funding over three years with an additional $551,000 through the federally supported Mitacs Accelerate and Elevate programs to fund CUTRIC's National Academic Committee on Zero-Emissions Buses (NAC-ZEB).
"This research will move Canada closer to achieving the goal of electrifying 5,000 buses across the country, as set by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities," said Josipa Petrunic, Executive Director and CEO of CUTRIC.
"Our research will answer the question of how researchers and implementation teams can accurately track the progress and impacts of ZEB implementation," said Jeremy Bowes, a tenured Professor in Design at OCAD University. "We are working closely with CUTRIC to develop visualizations that will highlight key factors as decision support for the overall process of ZEB adoption, testing and evaluation in Canada."