A battery-powered electric bus similar to the one pictured here will begin a six-month trial run on the streets of Victoria in January 2018. BC Transit photo

A battery-powered electric bus similar to the one pictured here will begin a six-month trial run on the streets of Victoria in January 2018. BC Transit photo

Electric bus to hit Victoria streets for six-month trial run

The battery-powered bus will be worked into regular route service

BC Transit will launch a trial run for a 40-foot electric bus to drive the streets of Victoria for six months starting in Jan. 2018.

The battery-powered bus will run on a 324 kilowatt-hour battery, enabling it to travel up to 250 kilometres on a single charge. A recharging station at the Victoria Regional Transit Centre on Gorge Road, will be set up to juice the battery overnight, and is estimated to take somewhere between three and four hours. BYD, a Chinese manufacturer of automobiles, buses, forklifts and rechargeable batteries, will pay for the cost of the bus and charging station during the trial.

“The Victoria Regional Transit Commission is looking forward to seeing the battery electric bus on the road,” said Victoria Regional Transit Commission chair Susan Brice.

Trials of battery-powered electric buses have occurred previously, but when this particular vehicle hits the road in the new year, it will be the first time a vehicle like this has been scheduled into regular service. No word yet on which routes will get to try out the new wheels.

“Sustainability is one of BC Transit’s core values,” said CEO and BC Transit president Manuel Achadinha. “This trial will provide us with valuable insight into the emerging technology as we look for better ways to connect people and communities.”

The trial will focus on the capabilities, range, and operational processes that accompany modern electric bus technology, giving BC Transit a better understanding of how to move forward with implementing permanent sustainable transportation methods.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com