Originally proposed for 2018, electric buses are now expected to roll down Sandalwood Parkway in spring 2019.

The provincial government, in partnership with the City of Brampton and York Region, as well as the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, announced on April 16 funding of up to $13 million for 14 electric buses and four charging stations in Brampton and York Region.

This is part of a national trial for electric buses in Canada; in addition to Brampton and York, Translink in Vancouver is also piloting battery-electric buses (Vancouver has a system of trolleybuses already).

Alex Milojevic, manager of Brampton Transit, says “Brampton Transit has introduced a number of new technologies and initiatives over the past several years in order to offer exceptional service to our riders. This is another project where we are proud to be testing new, innovative technologies to not only improve on our environmental footprint, but also expand on our efforts to be one of Canada’s leading transit providers.”

One of those innovative technologies is that all 110 Zum buses in the city are diesel-electric buses. This saves 3,500 tonnes of greenhouses gases per year, compared to the regular fleet which is just diesel buses.

As part of this project, this city will receive four charging stations and eight electric-battery buses. The four chargers (three by ABB Group, one by Siemens) will be located at Mount Pleasant bus terminal (1), the Sandalwood  Transit Facility (1), and at the Queen Street/Highway 50 Stop (2).

Brampton initially asked for 10 buses based on modelling in 2017. However, new modelling shows that eight buses can run on the original scope.

The eight buses will be provided by New Flyers Industries (6) and Nova Bus (2). The buses will run on the 26 Mount Pleasant (a 12 km round trip route) and the 23 Sandalwood (a 60 km round trip).

The city claims that this will be the largest single deployment of electric battery buses in the world in 2019, though this claim isn’t exactly correct, it is true that it’s a global first for a research consortium.

Toronto has intended to buy and deploy 30 electric buses by 2019, though not part of the research consortium. The city of Dalian in China has deployed 337 electric buses in 2015.

The pilot was expected to roll out this year, however it has been delayed with the addition of Translink to this phase of the project, technical planning to ensure that vehicles could operate with all different types of charging equipment instead of just their own, and funding commitments.

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