Montreal’s STM Public Transit system has begun trials runs on what will be the 1st public transit bus route in North America to be operated by buses that are 100% battery electric powered.
The STM will convert its 10.6 KM (one way) 36-Monk Line into one that utilizes 3 all battery-electric buses made by Quebec-based Nova Bus.
At each end of the route, specialized quick charge stations will be set up to bring the buses back to full charge. The pantograph of the charging station only extends when a bus pulls up. Once the bus is correctly positioned below the pantograph, an indicator light will go on and the driver can then apply the parking brake. The system will then automatically detect the bus and start lowering the pantograph. Recharging through conduction takes less than 5 minutes. The bus with freshly recharged batteries then resumes its route, with the next recharge at the other end of the bus line.
Field testing of the buses without passengers will take place from January until March. Following the trials the buses will begin regular service in March and will have the capacity to carry about 3,000 passengers per day.
The STM has stated in their Strategic Plan that they hope to have their entire bus system running with battery-electric vehicles by 2025.