A new zero-emission battery electric bus is hitting the streets of Victoria.
BC Transit is taking another step in its process of evaluating electric bus technology with the New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE, an 82-passenger bus powered by a 480-kilowatt hour battery.
The bus – powered by a charging station at Langford Transit Centre – is an accessible vehicle with two wheelchair positions, weighs approximately 14,932 kilograms and will be put into operational service only.
“People will see it out on the street so we wanted to let them know what’s going on,” said Jonathon Dyck, communications manager for BC Transit.
The bus will travel Victoria transit routes for a period of two weeks to compile data, but will not carry riders.
The goal is to comparatively measure the capabilities, range and operational process of another electric bus type, Dyck explained. “We know this is an emerging technology, and we’re happy to test and excited to learn more about [it].”
In April, BC Transit launched a six-month service trial testing BYD battery electric buses on a variety of routes in the Victoria Regional Transit System.
BC Transit is also in discussions with other bus manufacturers to gain a “solid understanding” of where the industry is, and how that fits within the context of the province’s public transportation system, Dyck said.