ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

New electric bus rolls on Vancouver streets beginning May 15, 2017

You read that right! On Monday, May 15, 2017, a three-month test of an electric battery-powered bus will begin!

The bus, provided by BYD Canada at no cost to TransLink, uses slow-charge technology to provide enough power to drive approximately 250 kilometres on a single charge!

This trial is just one of the environmentally friendly bus technology tests TransLink plans to launch as part of our commitment to helping the region meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The bus will snuggle in for its nightly charge at the Vancouver Transit Centre where our electric trolley fleet is based.

During the trial, we will be able to test the bus on our system, take a look at its performance according to the bus operators and maintenance crews as well as the satisfaction of the customers in order to determine our next steps with this technology.


Almost half of TransLink’s fleet of 1,386 buses is comprised of cleaner-technology buses including 262 electric trolleys, 116 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and 252 hybrid diesel buses.

BYD battery-electric bus fast facts!

  • Three hours charge time.
  • Battery designed to power bus for one-million kilometers before it needs replacing.
  • Highly efficient and powerful AC in-wheel hub motors provide instant torque to perform in all driving conditions.
  • Battery can also serve as a mobile generator.

Excited about this e-bus? We are too and we’re just getting started! TransLink is developing a Low-Carbon Fleet Strategy and we will be launching a second electric bus trial next year.

We’ll be sure to share all the details right here on the Buzzer blog.


The BYD bus will be on various routes in Vancouver. On Monday, May 15th it will running on the #33 route. Other routes it may service over the next three months are the #25, #41 and #84. We’re going to try to get more specifics on the routes and will post that info right here on the blog.

Check out our Instagram story from today’s demonstration!

Read the media release about this bus trial here.

Author: Adrienne Coling


  • By Rider, May 12, 2017 @ 4:11 pm

    An electric batter-powered bus! Now with free muffins!!

  • By Adrienne Coling, May 15, 2017 @ 9:23 am

    Ha – Good catch! Although that would be a delicious bus!!

  • By Sarkari Naukri, May 12, 2017 @ 11:54 pm

    Thanks for information. Good news.

  • By Robert, May 13, 2017 @ 10:54 am

    I hope this bus is only considered as a replacement of the non-trolley fleet. Our trolley buses have lighter batteries on board to get around short gaps such as accidents. Thus, with the overall lower weight, our trolley buses will still be more energy efficient than this electric bus. We are so lucky that earlier planners had the foresight to develop such an extensive trolley wire network.

  • By Adrienne Coling, May 15, 2017 @ 9:17 am

    Hi Robert, this trial will indeed run on routes not serviced by trolley wires. We love the trolleys too! :)

  • By elevtechlift, May 17, 2017 @ 12:33 am

    I really hope that if the BYD trial is successful, CMBC also try out the articulated and double decker variants from BYD. However, the double decker variant would need to be modified so it’s similar to GO Transit ADL Super-lo ( Also, I really would like to see the trolley network expanded to more local bus routes especially to hilly routes along major corridors and through commercial areas such as the 106, 123, 130 (between Metrotown, Hastings, and Kootenay Loop only), and 143. This is so then access to grid power for electric buses is easily accessible and downhill coasting trolleybuses with regenerative braking can feed more power to trolleybuses climbing uphill (if I’m understanding correctly: see Environmentally friendly –

  • By Matt Williams, May 19, 2017 @ 10:35 am

    Happy to see TransLink getting on board with zero-emission buses. There’s still a lot of catching up to do with the western US. What happened to the fuel cell electric buses that ran during the 2010 Olympics?

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