Canada Launches $40 Million Electric Bus Trial

MAY 19 2018 BY MARK KANE 8

A fleet of electric buses are to be tested in the new Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial project with standardized and interoperable buses and chargers in mind.

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE

The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), a nonprofit consortium founded in 2014 with nearly 100 members representing public and private stakeholders across Canada, launched the $40 million CAD (nearly $32 million USD) project at TransLink in Vancouver.

In the first phase, the trial will take place in three cities (Vancouver in British Colombia, and Brampton and York Region in Ontario) on five routes with 18 buses, supplied by New Flyer and Nova Bus (part of Volvo Bus).

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Vehicles will use OppCharge overhead fast charging station (usually 150kW, 300kW or 450kW) supplied by the ABB and Siemens.

Press blast:


Today, the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial: Phase I is being launched at TransLink in Vancouver as part of a national coordinated effort to advance zero emissions transit technology, spear-headed by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).

“With visionary investments by federal, provincial, and municipal governments, we are launching the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial: Phase I – which has a national project value of $40 Million and encompasses 18 standardized and interoperable electric buses, seven standardized and interoperable overhead chargers, and on five routes in three cities,” says CUTRIC Executive Director & CEO Josipa Petrunic. “Today’s announcement is building the future of low-carbon smart mobility in this country.”

CUTRIC has brought together manufacturers, transit agencies, utilities, funding partners, research teams, and technology development capacities to ensure a world-leading demonstration trial that is launching first in TransLink’s system in Vancouver, B.C.

TransLink is joined by Brampton Transit and the Regional Municipality of York, with Brampton Transit having spearheaded the trial planning process back in 2016.

“This funding investment will support the first global trial to integrate competitive bus manufacturers with competitive charging station manufacturers – all of whom are designing and delivering interoperable high-powered charging systems for on-route charged electric buses – across multiple municipalities and utility jurisdictions,” says Petrunic. “This type of collaboration, standardization and integration is proving to the country and the world that transit agencies can be at the forefront of technology development and job creation. And it’s happening in Canada first.”

TransLink is working with two Canadian transit vehicle manufacturers (New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Nova Bus, of St. Eustache, Quebec) and two charging station manufacturers (ABB Group and Siemens Canada) to deploy four electric buses and two overhead electric charging stations that plug into an open protocol known as the OppCharge protocol ( ) – first jointly developed by Siemens and Volvo Bus Corporation. The protocol standardizes the design of the off-board pantograph that connects the high-powered charging station to the bus, communications between the bus and the charger, and performance metrics of the overall system.

“To get this project going we had to sell a vision to a lot of sceptics. The vision is one in which publicly shared mobility services, like transit, can be faster, cheaper and greener than automobiles in all jurisdictions of the country in the future,” continues Petrunic. “TransLink, Brampton and York Region bought into that vision with us, and today’s announcement is the first step in a multi-year effort to make it reality.”

The project will continue to attract electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada among heavy-duty platform designers and manufacturers – helping to grow jobs in the low-carbon economy nationally.

“This is good news for Canadian job growth in the manufacturing and tech sectors which must demonstrate that their e-buses and e-chargers work seamlessly with one another wherever they are used,” states Petrunic. “Growth in skilled trades will be aligned to electric bus manufacturing by Nova Bus and New Flyer, charging system innovation by ABB Group and Siemens, and electric mobility maintenance support in Canada.”

The trial will also integrate neutral third-party vehicle and systems analyses by the National Research Council of Canada.

“Our job is to change the world and to do it by radically transforming the transportation and mobility landscape in this country,” Petrunic says. “CUTRIC is proud to have spearheaded this Canadian first launching in Vancouver first. We are showing the world Canada is a leader in driving down emissions, improving transportation, and creating greener, cleaner and more liveable communities.”

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8 Comments on "Canada Launches $40 Million Electric Bus Trial"

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Wow! I guess they don’t know about all the other bus projects going on around the world. First and unique, let’s see, How about 1st test coordinating results from two cities 2000 miles apart? Buses unique, no. Charging system unique, no. Multiple venders, well other cities have conducted tests from different manufactures, but possibly not directly as part of the same test. I think all their claims to be first is really stretching the point, but as a Canadian, I am glad to see Canadian transit finally joining the rest of the world in electrifying buses.

How many USA E-Bus tests are using 2 Canadian E-Bus Companies? That might be part of this First! The fact that we even Have 2 Bus Companies in Canada making E-Buses, is pretty much a First, all by itself!

Canadians are wise to avoid the Oil Battles between the USA and China by going electric at every opportunity. I referenced my opinions with article addresses at one time but find now those articles being blocked? EXAMPLES: Buffett-backed BYD to open electric-vehicle plant in Ontario – The ……electric…ontario/article36982418/ Nov 14, 2017 – BYD Co., the Chinese electric-vehicle maker backed by Warren Buffett, plans to open its first assembly plant in Canada, anticipating a surge in demand … A core attraction for Ontario is that the region around Toronto has many distribution centers within close proximity, so if one company goes electric and … Chinese truck manufacturer to open Ontario factory … – Toronto Star › News › Queen’s Park Dec 1, 2017 – A leading Chinese manufacturer is planning to open an Ontario factory assembling as many as 900 electric vehicles in the next five years, Premier Kathleen Wynne says. The move by BYD Company Ltd., which has a Canadian office in Windsor, would mean 20 to 30 jobs initially and position the province … China’s BYD to open electric vehicle plant in Ontario | Marketing ……/Chinas-BYD-to-open-electric-vehicle-plant-in-Ont… Nov 15, 2017 – According to Bloomberg, Chinese electric vehicle… Read more »

“Canadians are wise to avoid the Oil Battles between the USA and China by going electric at every opportunity.”????
Huh? Canada is way behind on that, and what oil battle is going on between America and CHina? None that I know of. China imports a lot more oil than America does and actually, America exports a lot of oil products to China, but there is no oil battle going on.

Canada produces some of the most environmentally damaging kinds of oil and the average Canadian emits more CO2 than either the average American or the average Chinese. But, feel free to believe that you are a saint! At some point, you’ll be buying a Chinese electric car designed in America or an American electric car with Chinese tech.

At least Alberta and Canada are implementing carbon tax. How many oil producing jurisdictions can claim to be doing so?

Aside from garbage trucks, this is probably one of the highest polluting vehicles on the road, the transportation bus, which has long daily running cycles.
The economics make it viable, with the variability and unpredictability of oil prices, now projected at $5 a gallon in 2019.
But, more importantly these vehicles spew cancerous particles in the air in center cities, with dense populations.
So, it’s good to see one country in the world use economics, and logic to plan their future, for the Benefit of their Citizens.

The oil price will probably rise to $90 a barrel next year. OPEC has reduced production a bit. Oil consumption rose with 1,5 million barrels a day. US blocking Iranian oil, and trade. . In which China will profit huge on, since they have just opened a railway from China to Iran. China export products like sunflower seeds and what not, and get cheaper oil back. Faster then a tanker. All the huge ships have to start to use a better, and more refined oil products, as a fuel. It will and cost, and push refining capacity, which will increase price. Places where cheap oil can be found are running out, or not able to meet demand. India alone has a huge increase in oil use – and so does China. Add continued high demand from the US, and other large consumers.. China and India may buy extra oil for storage- before the price increase more too. Total will not invest more in the Iranean oil industry if there will be trade problems.. In the end, this will make more people EV customers. In Norway, 1 liter of gasoline cost about $2. Imagine you drive a thirsty car that use… Read more »