The Société de transport de Montréal – a North American leader in electrification
In fall 2017, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) sped up its strategy for electrifying its surface transit system by announcing that it would purchase 38 electric buses using different technologies.
Moving quickly to stay true to its word, the STM ordered the 38 electric buses from 3 different suppliers starting in 2018. Specifically, the order consisted of:
- Thirty standard (12 m) slow-charging electric buses, including a first series one, for the purpose of assigning them to different bus lines in collaboration with the Société de transport de Laval;
- Four standard quick-charging electric buses to make the 36 Monk bus route entirely electric; and,
- Four “midibuses” (10 m) to operate on the 212 Sainte-Anne de Bellevue bus line, given that this route is well suited to this type of vehicle. The midibus is a mid-size vehicle bigger than a minibus yet smaller than a standard bus.
Paratransit will not be left behind either as the STM also began talks with an electric minibus supplier to conduct a demonstration to test electric transportation in this context.
These new vehicles will join the 3 electric buses from the Cité Mobilité project that have already been in service in Downtown Montréal for nearly 2 years. This decision comes on the heels of the positive results achieved from tests by the STM and other bodies, as well as the rapid evolution of electric bus technologies.
This is great news for customers on the island of Montréal, who will enjoy new, quiet, comfortable and eco-friendly vehicles starting in 2020.
This announcement was an important step for the STM in achieving its goal of purchasing only 100% electric buses with the best available technologies by 2025. It demonstrates our desire to keep our bus network evolving and honour our commitments as part of the STM’s 2025 Organizational Strategic Plan (OSP). Accelerating this strategy with the purchase of 38 electric buses, in addition to those already planned in the OSP, is based on both the encouraging results of the Cité Mobilité project and the rapid progress in the industry.
The STM will have to adapt its 9 transit centres to integrate the electrical charging infrastructure. Several charging technologies may be required to meet the diverse needs of public transit while optimizing operating costs, which means that the technologies need to undergo testing in real-world conditions with a handful of vehicles before large-scale orders can be placed.
The STM has therefore adopted a proactive and responsible strategy to try out the different types of vehicles and technologies in the field. This major project will allow the company to improve its knowledge of electric bus technologies while working closely with suppliers to contribute to their development and ensure a smooth transition to 100% electric transit.
*Electric bus photo courtesy of Société de transport de Montréal