Two years after TransLink last wrote off the idea of battery-powered electric buses for Metro Vancouver, its new CEO is bringing the idea back.
Kevin Desmond told a Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport function that they were introduced during his time in Seattle just before taking the job here in Vancouver.
While here they were dismissed as being too expensive in 2014, Desmond says he’s keen on the idea of a zero-emissions fleet.
“I think battery power is now proven, it’s not widespread anywhere in the world but it is growing and growing fast.”
Desmond was at the helm of Seattle’s King County Metro when the transit service began experimenting with the battery powered buses last year.
The 40-foot Metro buses can travel about 40 km between charges but take 10 minutes or less to recharge.
Desmond says the Canadian Urban Transportation Association will be in Vancouver next month, says he’ll raise the issue.
“I don’t know if it’s disruptive technology, but I think it’s a technology we need to move in because I think we should be open to different ideas, and sometimes out-of-the-box big audacious ideas.”
TransLink’s bus fleet already boasts a significant electric component servicing Vancouver and Burnaby, with 188 conventional trolley buses and another 74 articulated trolley buses.
The majority of the fleet is diesel powered.