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Manitoba charges towards all-electric transit

EcoLog, 11/2/2012 11:46:00 AM

New Flyer Industries is $3.4 million richer in its efforts to further battery-electric bus propulsion technology in Manitoba, thanks to new federal funding.

The Sustainable Development Technology Canada funding builds on the $1-million investment made by the Manitoba government in 2011 to develop an all-electric transit bus and charging system.

“Made-in-Manitoba clean energy technology will be the future of public transit,” said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger in an October 26, 2012 statement to media.

The project involves the development and implementation of four rapid-charge battery-electric transit buses and a high capacity charging station. New Flyer Industries will examine the technology and key operational performance issues, including charging systems, battery capacity, component life and reliability and the assessment of both operational and life cycle cost savings.

The buses are planned to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013 and will be operated by Winnipeg Transit in service over a four-year period. 

The use of electric propulsion buses is expected to cut 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per bus per year, compared to diesel propulsion transit buses currently operated by Winnipeg Transit.

“If we can have quiet, comfortable, long life buses with lower emissions and lower operating costs, it is a big win for our organization and our community,” said Dave Wardrop, director of Winnipeg Transit, in an October 26, 2012 statement to media.

The all-electric bus development and demonstration project is a partnership among New Flyer, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Red River College.

In addition to the $1-million investment in 2011, the Manitoba government has invested $100,000 in the creation of an electric-vehicle learning and demonstration centre at Red River College under Manitoba's Electric Vehicle Road Map.

"We're creating opportunities for young people right here in Manitoba. New jobs and more education means our next generation can become leaders in developing and building clean electric vehicles and helping cut greenhouse-gas emissions," Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak said in an October 26, 2012 statement to media.

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