Manitoba Touts Locally-Designed Electric Bus
Manitoba has unveiled the prototype for a new, all-electric, battery‑powered transit bus.
Premier Greg Selinger said yesterday that the Province will “continue to aggressively push the development of a made-in-Manitoba solution for providing mass transit vehicles powered by clean energy.”
Takaya Watanabe, general manager of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (one of five partners on the project) said, “This is an important step to realizing a low-carbon society and for popularizing a Manitoba‑made electric bus using MHI’s lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in North American markets.”
Chris Stoddart with New Flyer, another partner in this project, said this next-generation Xcelsior bus is the brainchild of engineers, technologists, and technicians educated locally at Red River College and the University of Manitoba.
Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro, said the all-electric bus initiative will expand the capabilities of rapid charging systems, as well as support “a solution that provides the enhanced energy efficiency of electric transportation and compatibility with North American utility distribution systems commonly while eliminating the need for development of costly trolley or streetcar infrastructure.”
Stephanie Forsyth with Red River College said the school’s Electric Vehicle Technology and Education Centre is excited about developing the charging infrastructure, assembling the batteries, and analyzing performance data. “The electric bus is an exciting project for our faculty and students to be involved with and it builds on our reputation as a centre of excellence for applied research in electric vehicles.”
The $3-million electric bus project costs are split equally between the Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The test bus is equipped with electric drive and was redesigned to carry advanced lithium-ion batteries which will be charged from the electrical grid. It will be tested over the next two years, starting with dry-run operational testing by project personnel and then moving to operation under highly selected route conditions.
The electric bus project is the first major activity undertaken under the memorandum of understanding on renewable energy development between Manitoba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, signed in 2010. The agreement created the structure for a series of potential collaborative projects in the areas of electrification of transportation and recharging infrastructure projects, battery-storage technologies, heat-pump technologies, advanced biofuels technologies, wind-energy technologies, energy-efficiency technologies and systems, solar technologies and silicon processing, and integrated energy production, storage and utilization demonstrations.
The electric bus project is one of a number of actions the province is taking in order to realize the benefits of electric vehicles for Manitoba, said Selinger. Other initiatives include the Electric Vehicle Technology and Education Centre at Red River College and plug-in partnerships with electric vehicle manufacturers.