April 12, 2018 11:17 pm

TransLink to test quick-charging electric buses on its route 100 along Marine Drive

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, TransLink CEO, MP Joe Peschisolido and others stand in front of an electric bus on April 12, 2018.

Global News

Call it the people’s Tesla.

TransLink is set to embark on a two-and-a-half-year trial that will see the transit authority test electric batteries on four buses on its route 100 that takes commuters along Marine Drive through Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster.

The trial will see battery-charging stations installed at two ends of the route: one at Marpole Loop, and the other at the 22nd Avenue SkyTrain station.

TransLink said these stations will be able to charge bus batteries within four to seven minutes, “ensuring sufficient charge is maintained for reliable service.”

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The project comes as part of an effort being led across Canada by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), and TransLink said it will allow them to look at a way to keep emissions down while also providing an efficient trip for commuters.

“Through the 10-year vision from the mayors’ council, one of the things they asked us to pursue was a low-carbon fleet strategy,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said at a press conference.

“There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes science, a lot of analytics associated with determining when and how, and how we can adapt to a zero-emission fleet, but you also have to do testing on the ground.

“That’s what this project is all about.”

The trial follows another program launched in May 2017, that saw TransLink use an electric bus with a slow charge that provided enough power to drive a vehicle for 250 kilometres.

TransLink will collect data on bus performance, maintenance and customer experience as part of the latest pilot.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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