City of Montreal Adds Three All-Electric Transit Buses

The City of Montreal is adding electric transit buses to its fleet. The pilot project is taking advantage of Quebec’s cheap power, and the nearby Nova Bus factory to help make the project happen.

The pilot project is a partnership between Montreal’s transit operator, the Société de transport de Montréal, and Volvo Group’s Nova Bus subsidiary. It’s part of a larger City Mobility demonstration project operated by Volvo Group in eight other international cities. Montreal is the first North American city to participate.

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It will start with three electric buses on one route. Overhead pantographs have been installed at each end of the route that will quick-charge the bus for five minutes. Those charges, along with a slow charge overnight, give each bus enough power to complete their routes all day. The overhead charging was chosen because it’s already been tested in Europe. The STM said it has “proven itself under winter conditions.”

The buses used will be Nova Bus LFSe models. They are 40-foot transit buses with seating for 41 passengers. Their TM4 electric powertrain produces 308 horsepower and 1990 pounds-feet of torque. The system uses no gearbox and has four lithium-ion batteries. Two on the roof and two in the rear. The buses are said to need just one six-minute fast charge per hour of operation, with a typical range between stations of 10 to 15 miles.

This isn’t the first electric bus trial for Montreal. They trialled a BYD electric bus on a number of routes in 2014. This new trial is expected to last until the end of 2019. The STM has previously announced that they plan to make their bus fleet fully electric by 2025.

The province of Quebec is making a big push to have more electric vehicles on their roads. The province generates nearly all of their electricity from hydro-electric plants and has the lowest electricity charge in Canada.


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