The City of St. Albert just took delivery on the first three electric buses BYD has delivered to Canada. The three BYD K9 buses are the first installment of the order of a total of seven electric buses for the city. The order represents a conversion of a full 10% of the city’s bus fleet to electric, which will be fulfilled by the end of the year and shows its commitment to migrating its fleet to next-generation fuels.
The arrival of the new buses was commemorated with a ceremony attended by city officials, BYD representatives, media personnel, and local citizens. The City of St. Albert led the nation in its initial testing of the BYD K9 35′ bus.
The order is a clear statement that Canadian customers have confidence that BYD’s electric buses — and maybe more importantly, its battery technology — are robust enough to perform in the extreme cold weather in these cities, which gets as low as -35°C in the winter.
Last year, the City of Edmonton tested two BYD K9 electric buses head to head against two brand new diesel buses and found that the electric buses were more reliable in the extremely cold temperatures. That’s worth restating … the electric buses were more reliable than their diesel counterparts that use technology that has been refined over more than 100 years.
Building on this foundation of testing, BYD is seeing solid traction in the country, with 4 clients locked in and discussions underway with many more. It is worth spotlighting just how ironic it is that the province of Alberta is also a major producer of oil. The balance between jobs and industry and the future of our climate and clean air is a difficult one to strike and it is encouraging to see provinces like Alberta take such a bold stance for the future.
At his speech at the event, the Provincial Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure Brian Mason called the delivery of the electric buses “a historic moment for Canadian transportation and the environment.” Mason started his career back in the City of Edmonton as a bus driver, which makes the statement especially powerful.
Electric buses are not only being pushed locally, but also at the national level. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has led the charge to approve large chunks of funding for public transportation through the “Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund” (PTIF), which has secured $3.4 billion for public transit in order “to improve and expand public transit systems across Canada.” The ultimate goal of PTIF is to essentially lubricate the gears of the economy of the country: “These investments will help to shorten commute times, cut air pollution, strengthen communities and grow Canada’s economy.”
Electrifying transit in the country is also a big step towards Trudeau’s promise to make Canada a global leader on Environmental Protection & Climate Change. This is especially important to the region in light of the Trump administration’s appointment of long-time EPA critic Scott Pruitt to head up the agency that he has sued numerous times over the years.
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