Ride the battery electric bus in Victoria as of July 23

Jul 10, 2018
Transit System: Victoria

Victoria – As part of a six-month trial, BC Transit will start using a battery electric bus in regular service on July 23. During the first week of revenue service, the bus is expected to operate on routes 2 James Bay/South Oak Bay/Willows, 4 UVic/Downtown, 11 Tillicum Mall/UVic, and 27 Gordon Head/Downtown.

The battery electric bus arrived in Victoria in April, and will be returned to BYD in October. Since arriving, the bus was prepared for BC Transit operations, including installation of our livery and training of maintenance staff and drivers. BC Transit is also testing the bus to gain a better understanding of the capabilities, range, and operational processes and requirements of modern electric bus technology. 

“BC Transit’s first electric bus trial is very important when we look to the future of transit in British Columbia,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The Province’s goal is to work with BC Transit on developing an aggressive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by converting to zero emission buses, and it is our hope that this initial trial will pave the way for big, positive changes to come in the near future.”

“Pollution-free transportation is an important part of our efforts to make life better for commuters, and an important piece of the clean economy we’re building in B.C.” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “This BC Transit project showcases our commitment in this province to reducing carbon and air pollution in our communities while reaching our climate targets.”

The electric bus, manufactured by BYD, is powered by a 324 kilowatt hour battery, and is recharged at a charging station at the Victoria Regional Transit Centre. During our regular testing, the vehicle has been able to travel at least 250 kilometers on a charge, and it recharges overnight for a period of three to four hours. The manufacturing company will cover the cost of the bus and charging station during the trial.

“I know the Commission and customers alike are excited to see the battery electric bus in regular service over the coming months,” said Susan Brice, Victoria Regional Transit Commission Chair. “The commission is placing a strong focus on bringing innovative and sustainable technology to Greater Victoria, and this trial is a step towards introducing greener transit options.”

In addition to the internal learning process, BC Transit is partnering with the University of Victoria Sustainability Lab and BC Hydro for the trial. The University of Victoria Sustainability Lab is analyzing the trial from a research perspective and will provide BC Transit with an overview of their findings. BC Hydro is partnering on the trial to understand the potential impacts to the power grid.

“As we move towards new fleet technologies we need to understand the impacts to our business and our partners,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re proud to partner with the University of Victoria and BC Hydro to develop our low carbon fleet strategy and transition to a zero emission fleet.”

BC Transit has trialed battery electric buses in the past, but this will be the first time the participating bus will be put into regular service. 

For more details about the BC Transit fleet and the electric bus trial, please visit bctransit.com.
Media Contact

Jonathon Dyck
BC Transit
Communications Manager