The short: The world’s first project to integrate battery electric buses (BEBs) and standardized charging systems from different manufacturers is accelerating and drastically reducing the cost of transit electrification.
The long: When the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) launched the Pan-Canadian BEB Demonstration and Integration Trial in 2016, a lack of standardization and interoperability in charging systems was impeding Canada’s BEB rollout and preventing municipalities from sourcing vehicles and infrastructure from a competitive marketplace.
Fast-forward five years, and the federal government has committed to having 5,000 ZEBs on Canadian roads by 2024, and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the COP26 conference requiring all new medium- and heavy-duty buses to be ZEBs by 2040.
What paved the way for these bold new targets? Using vehicles and infrastructure from New Flyer, Nova Bus, ABB Group and Siemens to successfully deploy 18 BEBs and seven chargers in Vancouver, Brampton and York Region, the Pan-Canadian BEB Demonstration and Integration Trial is accelerating deployment by advancing infrastructure standards and regulations, and enabling municipalities to save vast sums by sourcing equipment from multiple vendors.
At the same time, CUTRIC is developing CloudTransit™, a cloud-based national trust for the storage, analysis and sharing of data on BEB performance, transit systems operation, cybersecurity, design and public acceptance.
The future: From 2022 to 2024, the Pan-Canadian BEB Demonstration and Integration Trial will expand to include more than 200 vehicles across seven cities using an innovative funding and financing solution with Infrastructure Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank. With interoperability and standardization being similarly essential to the electrification of trucks, delivery vans, and other medium-to heavy-duty vehicles, the trial is playing an increasingly vital role in Canada’s wider transition to a clean-energy future.
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