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Brampton Transit participating in electric bus operation and integration trial


^ An electric Brampton Transit Nova Bus at Sandalwood Garage, January 28, 2021. This was the first of the electric buses to arrive in Brampton. Image: City of Brampton.

Brampton Transit is participating in a first-of-its kind electric bus demonstration and integration trial. CUTRIC, the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, launched the project in 2017. It is the first in the world where transit agencies can use vehicles and chargers from different manufacturers in fully interoperable form, meaning they can plug into one another’s charging infrastructure to gain a charge.

According to Brampton Transit, the initiative has brought together multiple levels of government, bus and charger manufacturers, system integrators, academia and funding partners together to implement electric buses in Brampton.

BT says the Brampton project is the largest single global deployment of standardized and fully interoperable battery electric buses and high-powered overhead on-route charging systems. It’s joining TransLink and York Region Transit in this global-first, multi-city deployment of fully interoperable buses and charging systems in partnership with Nova Bus, New Flyer Industries, ABB Inc., Siemens Canada, and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Ltd.

Brampton’s deployment differs from those in other municipalities, where buses can only charge at designated charging depots. Brampton’s depot and on-road charging options allow it to increase daily travel ranges on the electric buses.

Electric bus at charging station at Mount Pleasant Village.jpg

^ An electric bus at the charging station in Mount Pleasant Village terminal. Image, Brampton Transit.

This breakthrough electric bus technology will support zero tailpipe emissions and reduce pollution. The buses will also achieve near-zero emissions in their lifecycle, significantly decreasing emissions from diesel equivalents. Each bus can charge completely in less than 10 minutes.

Brampton Transit will add eight battery-electric buses (BEBs) to its fleet, two from Nova Bus and six from New Flyer. It will introduce the BEBs into service Tuesday, May 4, starting with the 26 Mount Pleasant route. Later, it will operate the buses along the 23 Sandalwood route. It has installed four high-powered (450 kWh) overhead pantograph on-route charging stations at:

  • Mount Pleasant Village terminal;
  • Highway 50 Züm station on Queen Street East; and
  • the Sandalwood Transit Facility.

The charging station include three from ABB Inc. and one from Siemens Canada Ltd.

During the Brampton project, all BEBs will have a new branding design, unique from the rest of the fleet. Brampton Transit is applying the same branding to the chargers, too.

Electric bus 2.jpg

^ A New Flyer electric bus at the charging station in Mount Pleasant Village terminal. Brampton Transit’s electric buses display unique liveries (colour schemes). Image, Brampton Transit.

According to CUTRIC, manufacturers are supporting innovative electric bus-charging technologies that are helping municipalities and transit agencies to develop standard systems across Canada. High-powered inter-operable charging systems are also essential to electrifying trucks, delivery vans and other medium-to heavy-duty vehicles.

In 2019, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, then Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced $11.15 million towards this first phase of the pilot project, which will cost a total of about $16 million. Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund and Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure - Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program provided federal funding.

Brampton Transit says it’s committed to promoting new and innovative solutions to provide a high-quality service that reduces the City’s overall carbon footprint and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Brampton Transit currently operates 450 buses in its fleet, including 133 diesel-electric hybrid Züm bus-rapid-transit vehicles.

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