The TTC just got a bunch of fancy new electric bus chargers
The TTC unveiled its latest high-tech upgrade on Friday, showing off a set of ten new chargers to power up its growing fleet of battery-electric buses, also known as eBuses.
Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie was joined by representatives of the TTC and PowerON Energy Solutions to announce the new charging infrastructure, sets of overhead pantographs installed as part of a proof-of-concept, City-funded $5 million project at the transit agency's Birchmount Garage.
The chargers mark the first phase of a 20-year agreement between the TTC and PowerON Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation.
"The City of Toronto is proud to support this innovative eBus charging system here in Scarborough as part of the work underway to make sure our TTC fleet is cleaner and greener," said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie.
"This new system is good news for our transit system and our environment just ahead of Earth Day. Expanding the TTC's charging capacity is crucial to our plans to have a completely green fleet in the future and we won't get there without the continued cooperation and commitment of all our government partners."
Video of the charging infrastructure offers a glimpse into how the system works. Similar to the overhead pantographs that power the city's streetcar fleet, these overhead charging stations deliver electricity from a centralized power source to chargers mounted above battery-electric buses.
👀 See that cool-looking charger overhead?— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) April 21, 2023
Not only is it impossible to misplace (nobody likes a frantic charger search!), but it's also revolutionizing the eBus game. [THREAD] pic.twitter.com/z8mZxkklsz
Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, calls the infrastructure "state-of-the-art charging technology that will help the City of Toronto reduce emissions and deliver a greener, healthier public transportation system, getting people to work, school and home."
Battery-electric buses will be an increasingly common sight on Toronto streets in the years to come, as the City and TTC press forward on a commitment to transition all vehicles in their fleets to 100 per cent net zero emissions by 2040 or sooner.
eBus technology continues to evolve, and like any emerging tech, associated costs may decline in the coming years. The TTC, while implementing a growing number of eBuses, is relying largely on hybrid-electric buses in the interim, and just debuted the first in an order of 336 partially-electric vehicles.
"The TTC operates one of the largest fleets of battery-electric buses in North America, and we look forward to continuing to expand and improve our eBus program, as we work towards a completely green fleet by 2040," said TTC Chair Jon Burnside.
TTC CEO Rick Leary expressed excitement about the new overhead chargers, which he says "are more compact, and will allow us to charge more eBuses faster, in more locations."
Leary says that "with additional hybrid-electric buses joining our existing fleet over the next few months, and the eBuses that will follow, we are bringing more environmentally friendly and quieter vehicles to even more routes across the city."
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