Electrifying the transit fleet

Media coverage from Ontario suggests that the City of Guelph is on the verge of electrifying their transit fleet. So I contacted that municipality to find out more. Short version: it's not that simple.

 

Notwithstanding the media hype, Guelph has not finalized nor executed any part of the fleet electrification plan. Details about the buses, logistics, etc. haven't been worked out. The City of Guelph is at the (very) initial stages of their Fleet Electrification program. Through the majority of this calendar year Guelph plans to work with CUTRIC (Consulting firm) to outline the details on how Guelph will plan, fund and execute our bus electrification initiatives over the next 8 years (between 2021 and 2028).

1. What buses are you using and what are their technical specifications (how they operate in the cold/heat, hours of operation before charging, etc.)?

City of Guelph does not have any electric buses in
operations at this time. Currently all 80 buses in the Guelph fleet are 40’ NOVA diesel powered buses.

2. What is the total cost to the city for the buses alone?

Our budget estimates have a ‘fully outfitted’ replacement diesel powered bus earmarked at $600,000 and the cost to upgrade to a similar size electric bus being $700,000 more so the cost per bus is budgeted at $1,300,000 per unit (plus infrastructure costs e.g. charge stations). These are estimates at his stage. Firm quotes and costs are expected once we complete an RFP in 2021/2022 and firm bids received.

3. Will the city need to acquire additional mechanical expertise to maintain the new fleet?

Yes, we do expect that additional and/or different type of technical expertise will be required to maintain the electric fleet.