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TransLink leads the charge launching new electric-battery bus trial

At TransLink, sustainability is very important to us and we are always exploring innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions while providing efficient travel for our customers. That’s why we’re excited to announce our partnership with Natural Resources Canada, Metro Vancouver and BC Hydro to bring four fast-charging electric-battery buses to the region starting in 2019.

This pilot program follows the successful BYD Electric Bus pilot launched in May 2017. The BYD Electric Bus pilot used a slow-charge technology which provided enough power to drive approximately 250 kilometres on a single charge!

This time around, we’re piloting a fast-charging electric-battery technology which features four buses for testing, two from New Flyer and two from Nova Bus.

Testing will take place on Route 100, travelling along Marine Drive through Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster. High-powered charging stations provided by ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) and Siemens Canada will be installed at each end of the route: one at Marpole Bus Loop and the other at 22nd Street SkyTrain Station. These stations will deliver a rapid charge within 4-7 minutes while the buses are in layover, ensuring sufficient charge is maintained for reliable service.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond speaking about the upcoming battery-electric bus trial.

“Mass transit has always scored high as a sustainable way to move large numbers of people, but many transit vehicles still use carbon-based fuels. Today, almost half our bus fleet runs on cleaner technology including our electric trolley, hybrid diesel and natural gas buses. With this fast-charge, battery-electric trial, TransLink is getting the on-the-ground experience we need to develop our Low Carbon Fleet Strategy and transition towards a zero-emission fleet.” Kevin Desmond, CEO, TransLink

This two-and-a-half year integration trial is part of a pan-Canadian initiative led by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC). This will allow TransLink to explore another way to reduce carbon emissions while providing efficient travel for customers.

Left to right: Kevin Desmond (TransLink CEO), His Worship Gregor Robertson (Mayor of Vancouver), The Honourable Joe Peschisolido (MP for Steveston—Richmond East), Kris Trembecki (Vice-President of Finance, Nova Bus), Josipa Petrunic (Executive Director of Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium) and David Warren (Director of Sustainable Transportation, New Flyer Industries)

“This partnership is a great example of organizations working together to help people get to where they are going by using the clean technology of tomorrow. It means British Columbians can get to work, access the services they depend on and get home to their families quickly and efficiently — with even lower carbon emissions than regular transit. I am excited to see the outcome of this electric bus trial.” Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink.

TransLink will collect data on bus and charging station cross-compatibility as well as bus performance, maintenance and overall customer experience. Gaining this on-the-ground experience with different technologies will inform the Low Carbon Strategy, currently under development, which will chart our transition towards a zero-emission bus fleet.

TransLink will be trialing two battery-electric buses from New Flyer (pictured) along with two from Nova Bus.

Did you know?

Almost half of TransLink’s current fleet runs on cleaner technology, and includes:

  • 262 electric trolley,
  • 145 compressed natural gas, and
  • 255 hybrid diesel buses

Driving innovation is one of the ways TransLink is realizing its commitment to environmental responsibility. To learn more about our environmental policies, visit our website.

Read more in the media release here.

Author: Sarah Kertcher


  • By juan, April 12, 2018 @ 2:15 pm

    One thing to point out from the scheduling side of things is in the seldom case wherein the bus is caught in delays and arrives at the terminus late by around 5-10 minutes, thus losing enough layover time for the bus to charge again. I wonder if buses will be cutting into schedule on route (instead of running late for the entire shift) should something like this happen.

  • By Joe, A 12 for Transit, April 12, 2018 @ 3:19 pm


    Hope you guys are selling tickets to the first ride!

    Electric buses ARE for the true believers!

  • By Mischa, April 12, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

    I hope it’s getting a bike rack! Busses look so naked without them

  • By Allen Tung, April 13, 2018 @ 10:57 am

    Hi Mischa, there will be bike racks! They’re a standard feature of all Coast Mountain Bus Company transit vehicles.

  • By Sheba, April 12, 2018 @ 7:21 pm

    Uhm it’s 22nd Street (not Avenue) Station.

  • By Allen Tung, April 13, 2018 @ 10:54 am

    Thanks Sheba! We’ve made the correction. :)

  • By Ivan, April 17, 2018 @ 9:14 am

    If I want to go have a look at how the charging process look like, where do I find the bus charging station? I heard on the news they use overhead charger?

  • By Ivan, April 17, 2018 @ 9:16 am

    Actually I read above is at Marpole Bus terminus and 22nd terminus. When will they be in operation? I want to look, since I myself have an electric car so just curious.

  • By Edward Welch, October 12, 2018 @ 12:17 am

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful information with us all it will be very beneficial to the so many peoples and I will share this to those. In this post have some best tips about electric bus trial. Thanks for sharing this.

  • By Tanushree Pillai, October 30, 2018 @ 9:54 am

    Glad you liked the post, Edward! ^tp

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