It is really such a shame that it has taken so long for city and state governments to catch on to the whole electric vehicle craze. We should have had electric buses and taxis in droves by now, mostly because it makes economic sense. Less upkeep and lower fuel costs will eventually offset the higher upfront cost, especially since many municipalities put hundreds of thousands of miles on their vehicles.
Looking to take a lead in clean public transportation, the Société de transport de Montréal, Montreals public transportation department, says it intends to replace its fleet of 1,300 buses with all-electric models by 2025.
I’ve been to Montreal before, but I never had a chance to ride on their public transportation (in hindsight, the long, wobbly walk back to my hotel would have been much easier on a bus). It is a very pretty city, and very walkable, though in the winter it gets bitter cold. The STM plans to start buying more fuel efficient diesel buses, and lease some electric models as well. Trolleys linked to overhead electric wires are also in the works along the busiest bus routes, and by 2012 any bus purchased by the city has to be a hybrid model. But being that the city gets so cold in winter, electric vehicles present a problem as their range and power is cut by the cold.
Montreal is looking at fast-charge buses that can store enough power for a 20 kilometer route before recharging in 10-15 minutes at either end of the route. In this way, buses could lead the charge to electrify city services, as their routes rarely change, making placing charging stations easy. Will Montreal be the first city in North America with an all-electric fleet? Or are other cities going to beat it to the metaphorical punch?
Source: Montreal Gazette | Image: John Kenney