Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) and Proterra unveiled its first 21 Proterra electric buses and brand new, purpose-built electric bus garages. ETS has 19 more Proterra buses on the way this year to make up a 40-bus fleet, one of the largest purchases of electric buses in Canadian history.

With this deployment, ETS also becomes the first to implement in-depot overhead charging on the continent. ETS will begin putting the electric buses into service in early August.

“From the start, we’ve been very intentional about how we’ve designed our electric bus program,” said Ryan Birch, director, transit operations, ETS. “We’ve taken a unique approach to charging our buses inside transit facilities. This provides important redundancy that makes our electric bus fleet more reliable for transit customers, and will help us continue to modernize our transit system.” 

Edmonton selected the 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 max vehicle with 660 kWh of onboard energy and the DuoPower™ drivetrain. The E2 max bus has six Proterra battery packs on board, enabling these vehicles to get approximately 218 miles of range on ETS routes. This vehicle model broke the world record for the longest distance traveled by any electric vehicle on a single charge, and ETS is the first customer in North America to put it into service.

Featuring two electric motors, the DuoPower drivetrain delivers 510 horsepower, accelerating a Catalyst bus from zero to 20 mph in under six seconds. In addition, the DuoPower drivetrain can propel a bus up a 25% grade, making it an ideal option for routes with steep hills.

To charge its new buses, Edmonton also unveiled the new Kathleen Andrews Garage, named after Edmonton’s first woman transit operator, who worked for the City for 23 years. ETS collaborated with the Proterra Energy™ team to install 26 ABB 150 kW depot chargers connected to inverted pantographs and seven 60 kW Proterra plug-in chargers in the maintenance area, all of which are interoperable and standardized. ETS bus operators are able to drive the buses into assigned parking spots and connect to the respective overhead chargers with the flip of a switch, and begin charging immediately or wait until a designated time when fleet management software will initiate charging. ETS, Proterra, and ABB created a first-of-its-kind installation in North America using RFID technology, Wi-Fi, and two-step authentication that ensures each bus connects to its respective overhead charger.

ETS uses the Proterra APEX™ Connected Vehicle Intelligence System to monitor and manage its fleet of electric buses and charging systems. By using the APEX system, ETS will be able to easily monitor the status of its vehicles and gather information such as state of charge, charger status, bus efficiency, distance traveled, and more.