Milton Transit to operate Canada’s first-ever diesel to electric powered bus

Posted: 20 April 2023 | | No comments yet

Milton Transit’s diesel-to-electric conversion pilot will provide it with valuable insights on charging, maintenance and cost, while offering a cleaner and more comfortable travel experience to its riders.

Milton Transit to operate Canada's first-ever diesel to electric powered bus

Credit: Milton Transit

Milton Transit has announced that the Town of Milton is collaborating with Milton-based MTB Transit Solutions on Canada’s first conversion of a mid-life diesel bus to electric battery power. The pilot project explores the innovative concept that diesel-to-electric conversion offers transit agencies – a speedy, affordable path to electrification.

With transportation representing one quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the project supports Milton’s goals of sustainability and addressing climate change.

Through its new technology, the company will work for six months to convert a conventional 12m Milton Transit bus to battery electric power. The pilot will help Milton Transit explore this route to an electric bus fleet, by providing useful details on charging, maintenance, performance, cost, servicing and mitigating reliance on fossil fuels.

For riders, the electric bus will be more comfortable due to reduced noise and vibration. In addition, it will also eliminate any tailpipe emissions. The bus is expected to hit the roads in early 2024.

Each Milton Transit bus averages about 72,000km a year; this conversion will potentially save about 51,260 kg of diesel emissions over a six year period.

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The Town is also conducting a Milton Transit Battery Electric Bus Feasibility Study and Transition Plan, which will provide a road map for the implementation of electric buses and charging infrastructure.

The total project cost of $882,000 includes conversion and delivery of the vehicle, all vehicle components, charging infrastructure, warranty and training.

“Exploring transit electrification represents Milton’s focus on making our community more attractive and competitive. This exciting partnership will help us learn about ways to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gord Krantz, Mayor of Milton.

“As we embrace sustainability, we want to make evidence informed decisions that will yield results over the long-term. This pilot will help us learn about diesel-to-electric bus conversion technology, and make the best decisions in our move toward an electric transit fleet,” said Kristene Scott, Commissioner, Community Services at Milton Transit.

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