OC Transpo scales back planned purchase of e-buses

By Chris Kurys

OC Transpo is going to buy fewer e-buses than originally planned, as the transit agency listens to advice from the city's auditor general. 

Earlier this year, AG Nathalie Gougeon felt the city was taking on 'too large a risk' when it planned on procuring 74 e-buses before gathering sufficient performance testing data across all four seasons.

In response, OC Transpo general manager Renée Amilcar told the transit commission on Wednesday that the agency now planned on purchasing only 26 new e-buses.

“After that, we will increase those quantities,” explained Amilcar.

She said funding was still being worked out with the federal government, but plans remain in place to have 450 e-buses by 2027, and the entire fleet converted by 2036.

The transit commission heard that the four zero-emission buses involved in the pilot project entered services on February 7 and have travelled over 40,000 km on 70 different routes across the transit system.

“Staff have observed that they have met their expected range, and it takes four hours to charge a bus, as anticipated,” the City’s announcement said.

The new battery-electric buses were unveiled back in November.

– With files from Dani-Elle Dubé 

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