• May 24th 2010 at 5:20PM
  • 15
The city of Montreal is serious about going electric and, as proof, it will convert its entire fleet of buses over to the electric variety by 2025. If successful, Montreal should become the first North American city able to lay claim to an all-electric bus fleet. 2025 is quite a long ways away, so the city has a few plans in place to green its fleet immediately, before moving over to the battery-only buses later on.

The Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM) is currently awaiting an order of 380 high-efficiency diesel buses to replace some of its aging fleet. The buses will be in service between now and 2025. In addition to the diesels, the city is actively searching for hybrid buses to put into fleet use. Beginning in 2012, all STM bus purchases will be either hybrids or electrics and, starting in 2011, Montreal will begin testing electric buses powered by overhead wires on some of the city's busiest routes. This is the first step to replace the entire fleet of 1,300 buses with zero-emission models within 15 years. The task is certainly doable, but the city is venturing where no other in North America has gone before. We applaud the STM for being pioneers while wishing Montreal luck in reaching its goal. Hat tip to Sebastian!

[Source: Montreal Gazette]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a shame. The STM could cut way more pollution by offering service on most routes that would make public transportation in this city or more realistic alternative for many commuters. Improve the infrastructure first before this publicity-stunt nonsense.

      Way to miss the point Montreal! (I am an avid Cyclist and carry my STM and AMT cards everywhere I go)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I almost forgot; for anyone that doesn't live in Montreal the fact I have to carry two separate cards should probably indicate some measure of the typically-over-bureacratized infrastructure we suffer with here in Quebec. They couldn't even get OPUS right - not to mention many of the trains used by AMT are massive (and old) diesel monstrosities.

      Just because I use the service doesn't mean I have to like it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Translation: The politicians of today are going to do something that makes them look good today, but will be forgotten by anyone voting for them 15 years from now.

      Can anyone remember any promises made by any politician 15 years ago? Ones that they haven't already broken, that is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree... predictions 15 years in the future are pointless. The only thing that should be believe is projects that actually take that long from start to finish. Like the ITER fusion reactor project. That will actually take 15 years to construct. They can promise things now because they have already started leveling the ground at the site. Money is already allocated.

        This, is nothing but words unfortunately. And with promises in 2025, they don't have to lift a finger, or pay a dollar, until 2020 or maybe later.
      • 5 Years Ago

      In our part of the woods (Holland) hybrid busses seem to be the most popular choice with most operators. One interesting type of bus on the road has electric in-wheel drive, battery capacity for about 1 hour of operation and a diesel generator:

      • 5 Years Ago
      Bus electrification is ideal for electric transportation.
      One option I think should be considered and I did not hear about, is an Hybrid - trolleybus/electric bus. Mainly for cities where trolleybus already exists

      In this way you only need wiring infrastructure in some parts of the city, avoiding crossings, junctions, etc, wiring only straight sections

      This will reduce costs of the wiring infrastructure and maintenance. Also, would reduce the visual impact of the wiring

      When using the wiring lines, it could be charging the batteries. Batteries capacity could be very low (could use capacitors) or depending of the distance between wiring lines some batteries would be needed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only politicians and scam artists can make claims about he implementation of currently nonexistent technologies 15 years in the future. Perhaps they are one in the same.

      As noted by a commenter above the goal to extend the use of public transport regardless of the method of locomotion may be a far better environmental goal. Much greater ridership of the existing diesel buses will reduce carbon emissions far more than a change in technology with the current user population.

      What will happen if they discover that winter battery life only lasts less than a shift? Montreal's cold winters greatly diminish battery life as will the need to supply ample cabin heat.

      What if they find out they will need twice as many buses? Public transit requires buses that last a full shift and are quickly returned to service after shift change. No charging technologies on the horizon will allow quick charging nor will the large batteries required lend themselves to quick exchange. The expensive solution to those seeking all electric buses is to duplicate the fleet. This duplication will apply not only to buses but the storage facilities that house them.

      I think the desire to go all electric is noble but reality is painful. Don't dismiss these issues out of hand; if they were easy to solve they would have already been done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In short: the project would begin to buy electric buses just NOW. The problem is now (pollution) and must begin to be solved now.

      The idea of common platform for tram, trolleybus and electric bus is good (a three wire platform, that can be if convenient, only in bus stops and electric buses can use supercapacitors - capabuses-).

      Gensets can be used for a hurry, but better is the battery swap - uses 3 minutes - (what Better Place and other competing companies does in the field of electric buses?).

      Public transportation must be as much efficient as possible. It is a bad solution use combustion buses (i.e. diesel buses), because pollution is produced (less that with combustion cars, but perhaps more than with electric cars that uses renewable electricity). Combustion buses (sometimes using biofuels) are used in Curitiba, put produces fumes. This cannot be more the model for sustainable transportation. The best efficiency is the use of electric buses that employs renewable electricity.

      Interesting links :

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bus
      * Zonda Bus New Energy, with a 500 km only-electric range and 10 years battery lifespan (500,000 km) http://www.zondabus.com/En/NewsView.Asp?ID=265
      * Astonbus, http://www.astonbus.com , that also sells in the European Union.

      The present is ELECTRIC and goes in BUS. We can take it in the next stop, only if we hurry.

      • 5 Years Ago
      This is good news for Montreal.

      I'm happy to live in this city.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Never undertsand why there isnt more electric transport in Canada when there is so much hydro power particularly in Quebec. It would make more sense to bring backs trams and introduce trolleybuses as some other canadian cities have done not to mention lrt.

      Maybe as someone has suggested above we could have trolley wires in the downtown and main area which the buses could run under and simultaneously charge the battery so that the bus can run where there arent any wires. It is possible to charge trams via athird rail as in some places in France, so you then dont have to have unsightly overhead wires although you get used to them.

      mais 2025 c'est longtemps...................
      • 5 Years Ago
      battery swap can work for buses right now. sound idea. maybe tiny emergency ICE genset. a 2 cylinder TD should be enough to allow it to move about in city traffic. or simply a 2 cylinder gas motorcycle engine.
      no need to wait.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the idea, it would be cool by me if they did this in Portland OR. Our stinky buses, inside and out, advertise, powered by biodiesel, come to find out only 5% of biodiesel is used the rest is regular diesel. To clarify, the inside of the buss smelled like urine toward the back but I only rode on one about 5 years ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it does happen, it is very good news for Montreal, and just goes to show that we only need some plain common sense to save this planet...
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