Largest Private Bus Operator In Vancouver Goes Electric With BYD

OCT 11 2018 BY MARK KANE 13

BYD will supply electric buses to Vancouver

Vancouver’s largest private bus operator, WESTCOAST Sightseeing, is committed to having a 100% clean-energy fleet by 2023.

The entire fleet consists of 90 buses of various types (open top buses, double decks, singles and others) and BYD was contracted as the exclusive supplier for the transition to electric.

“WESTCOAST Sightseeing will also work with city to develop charging infrastructure that will not only benefit WESTCOAST but many other companies that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact.”

“The BYD battery-electric buses will make an immediate improvement to air quality and noise levels for the B.C. region. These buses alone will deliver a reduction in carbon emissions of some 4,500 Metric Tons of carbon emissions per year based on EPA standards.”

“WESTCOAST Sightseeing recently added Electric Harbour tours to its line of sightseeing products, providing the first Harbor tour on a 100% electric boat in Vancouver.”

So far, BYD invested more than $250 million in North America and delivered more than 270 electric buses (over 600 were sold/ordered), which means that over 300 need to be produced and delivered.

Deliveries worldwide already exceed 35,000 (mostly in China).

Rob Safrata, Chief Executive Officer of WESTCOAST Sightseeing said:

“Our business is built around the natural beauty of our home and we are especially conscious of the impact our day-to-day operations has on the environment. We are proudly working towards a greener and more sustainable future. And adding electric buses and boats is the first step to achieve our goal in 2023 of becoming the first Sightseeing firm in Canada with 100% electric vehicles.”

BYD Canada’s Vice President Ted Dowling said:

“CEO Rob Safrata has long held a clean energy vision and we are excited to be working with him. This aligns perfectly with the recent announcement by British Columbia Premier John Horgan for the need to find other ways to reduce emissions.”

Categories: Bus, BYD

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13 Comments on "Largest Private Bus Operator In Vancouver Goes Electric With BYD"

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Last time I was in Vancouver was in the mid-80s… They used to have many electric trolleybus lines along the main streets. Do those still exist? If not, it’s time the city went back to electric transit… Also, many of the ferry lines could probably be electrified, as they are starting to be in Scandinavia. No lack of clean renewable electricity in BC.

The public transit company uses (very approx) 200 trolley buses, some 200 natural gas, 100 hybrid diesel, 500 diesel. A pilot program will bring 4 battery electric buses.

Remember Ballard Power Systems, based in the Vancouver area, who wanted to be the Intel of fuel cells? This development has to be a kick in the gut for them.

Unfortunately decades of research into fuel cells did not pan out for them (and probably for the best). The cost is still too high. Nice to see though, that they survived and are able to transition.

Now only if they spent decades on battery technology, even as a side project!

Yes, Ballard was a great idea in the 90s but never had enough funding to break out. Now H2 is irrelevant.

I wish they had gone with the “home town” team of New Flyer. Their Xcelsior has 3 different lengths that fit most cities needs. Heck, even Proterra would have been a good fit for them. BYD is good, but supporting your neighbors is a good policy.

BYD is NOT good. They are the cheapest, but they have LOTS of quality issues.

I thought their big problem was lack of power for hilly sections of their routes but I have to admit that I cant find that article again. It sounded like they were heavying up components other than the motors and it was helping but not curing the issue entirely.

Yeah Trump slapped a 25% tariff on steel and aluminum from Canada attributing it to the nations defense.
So Proterra will probably not get many orders from Canada. Heck the tariffs probably make the Proterra more expensive.
Trump thinks the trade deficit will lower the budget deficits. 2018 Fiscal year 2018 was 782 billion. Individual tax receipts were 4% higher, corporation tax receipts decline by 31%.

New Flyer a Canadian company also makes electric buses. Wonder why they aren’t in on this.


BYD can offer same capabilities for less capitol costs, and business can’t ignore that.

Well done Westcoast Sightseeing!!
Competing tour operators will take note, as will other businesses, and will likely have a cascading effect throughout the region.