Sustainability

York Region Transit to take part in Canadian battery-electric bus demo

Posted on March 28, 2017

Canada’s Regional Municipality of York confirmed its involvement in the Pan-Ontario Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial by approving the purchase of six fully battery-electric transit vehicles to operate in the town of Newmarket, Ontario. The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) brought York Region Transit together with funding partners, research teams, technology tools, and manufacturing stakeholders.

The York Region project is unique as it is the first time an e-bus project is being supported by a power provider, Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Ltd. (NTPDL). They have pledged to purchase and maintain the overhead on-route charger in Newmarket to power the transit vehicles.

The Regional Municipality of York will purchase six electric powered heavy-duty transit buses from two Canadian transit vehicle manufacturers (four buses from New Flyer Industries and two buses from Nova Bus). As part of this trial, overhead-charging stations will be designed and manufactured by Siemens and ABB Group. Both manufacturers will produce the pole mounted pantograph system that uses an open protocol known as the OppCharge protocol — first jointly developed by Siemens and Volvo Bus Corp. The protocol standardizes the design of the robotic off-board pantograph that connects the charging station to the bus, communications between the bus and the charger, and performance metrics of the overall system.

The trial aims to encourage long-term job growth in e-bus manufacturing and overhead charging system design and development in Canada in the future.

York Region Transit is joining a consortium of partners in several jurisdictions in Canada that have collectively sought financial support from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and several municipal jurisdictions. The trial will integrate proposed neutral third-party vehicle and system analyses by the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Ontario — Institute of Technology, York University, Brock University, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, and the University of Victoria. St. Clair College will also help to lead the development of a training program for e-bus and charging system maintenance staff.

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