Electric buses return to Winnipeg streets after 49 years
Electric transit has returned to Winnipeg for the first time since the city's trolley car rolled into history in 1965.
The first made-in-Manitoba electric transit bus, along with a new rapid-battery charging system, was showcased to politicians and the media on Friday.
- On January 28, 1891 at 7:30pm on the Park line near Osborne and Jubilee, the first electric car was tested. They began running in regular service in the summer of 1892.
- The last all wood electric car was built in August of 1914.
- On May 1, 1918 the first gasoline powered bus operated in Winnipeg.
- September 18, 1955 was the last day street cars ran in Winnipeg.
- Electric trolleys started to get replaced by diesel buses in 1965 and service was expanded into new areas. The transit service began to remove electric overhead lines.
- The last electric trolley coach in Winnipeg ran on Oct. 30, 1970.
SOURCE: Winnipeg Transit
"At Manitoba Hydro, we have to ensure that our electrical-distribution system will be able to economically and safely handle the impacts of more electrical vehicles. This new bus is helping us assess that impact," Thomson said.
The prototype electric bus was developed through a partnership between the Manitoba government, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), New Flyer Industries, Manitoba Hydro and Red River College (RRC).
The vehicle has been tested extensively by the partners and passed "the real-world test of operating in Winnipeg winter conditions," stated a news release from the provincial government.
"We are extremely proud of this partnership and the technology that resulted in this truly innovative electric bus," said Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers.
"Testing a new unique on-route rapid charging system, which is the first in Canada, and moving the electric bus into regular service is a tremendous step forward for clean, green technology that is already catching the eye of various North American transit authorities. Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is good for the environment, our health and business."
"Red River College has a history of innovating, promoting and performing applied research in the sustainable transportation sector. We are a leader in applied research in this country and we are proud that we could offer our deep technical expertise to this project," said RRC president Stephanie Forsyth.
The province, MHI, and Manitoba Hydro each contributed $1 million toward developing the prototype.
In partnership with the City of Winnipeg, four more electric buses are being produced that will be added to Winnipeg Transit's fleet and used on regular transit routes. The prototype bus will remain on loan to Winnipeg Transit until all four new electric buses have completed the testing phase.