Between March 5 and March 27, St. Albert residents may notice something missing as they see a new bus picking up and dropping off passengers along City routes. People won’t see any emissions coming from a new electric bus that the City is testing for three weeks in March.
“I’m excited that the City is looking at options for electric buses. Reducing the exhaust from even one vehicle is another way we can help reduce our footprint and do our part to maintain a healthy, natural environment for our residents,” said Mayor, Nolan Crouse.
Developed by New Flyer Industries Inc, the same manufacturer of the buses currently in the City’s bus fleet, the test run will examine how this zero emissions bus performs in cold weather. The test will also evaluate the bus’ interior heating system and the impact of heating on battery life and vehicle range. This electric bus trial will also assess how well the bus handles on snow and ice and examine the reliability of its electrical systems in colder temperatures.
The previous electric bus trial, conducted in August, 2014, used a bus from BYD Auto Company Ltd. Although that electric bus trial evaluated range and other operational characteristics, winter performance - an important consideration for vehicles in colder climates, particularly for electric vehicles - wasn’t assessed.
“St. Albert Transit is pleased to be doing another electric bus trial - this one from a manufacturer we are very familiar with,” said Bob McDonald, Director of St. Albert Transit. “This test will give us an additional perspective on the purchase of this exciting new technology.”
Blue in colour, the bus will be distinctly identifiable as an electric bus. Although passengers boarding the electric bus will not be charged a fare, normal fares will continue to apply for all regular buses, including transfers from the electric bus. Passengers are encouraged to provide their feedback on the electric bus by visiting RideStAT.ca and following the links.
Following this second electric bus trial, Administration will compile and analyze the results and make a recommendation for possible purchase of an electric bus to augment the fleet. This is the first step towards acquiring more zero emission vehicles within the City’s bus fleet.