Getting electric

Editorial

Wednesday, July 31 2019

BC Transit and the Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced this past weekend that over the next ten years, the entire BCT fleet will be replaced by electric buses.

Part of that cost covered with a provincial/federal grant.

That’s fantastic news. Even as the Regional District and other areas are currently bringing in LNG as a cleaner fuel, the idea that even LNG has an end-life, and that all BCT buses will eventually be electric is good news. What would be even better is if within that ten year purchase plan, MOTI and BCT had a plan to help budding community bus systems (such as our own Gabriola GERTIE) to also be completely electric.

More and more drivers are moving to electric for their private vehicles.

This does mean we have to consider where the power will come from; and what will be done with the batteries. (There’s also that small problem of charging anything when we have power outages...)

As far as sourcing the hydro, that might be the silver lining in Site C, though some would argue the current Hydro capacity is underused and even if we all go electric, we have enough power in BC.

For the batteries, that will be our new dilemma. Producing batteries in a way that is ethically and environmentally sound; and then disposing of them in the same fashion, will need to be a part of the longer term plan.

Given the option, not moving to electric for another ten years, to then have ten more years of transit running on fumes, both of these concerns are better identified, and dealt with as transit makes the change.