Victoria's first electric transit bus to hit the road this fall

A rendering of the electric bus is shown. (Supplier/Proterra)

Victoria's first electric transit bus is scheduled to enter service this fall as BC Transit embarks on its goal of fielding an all-electric fleet provincewide by 2040.

The transit operator says it finalized a $20-million deal on May 16 to deliver 10 heavy-duty electric buses from U.S.-based zero-emission vehicle manufacturer Proterra.

The contract will allow BC Transit to purchase additional buses and chargers from the company, with up to 500 buses slated for replacement across B.C. over the next 10 years.

"This is an important first step toward BC Transit’s goal of achieving a zero-emission transit system by 2040," said B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming in a statement Tuesday.

"Clean, green, efficient and affordable public transit is a key component of our government’s strategy to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions."

BC Transit says Proterra has a proven track record with more than 800 vehicles currently on the road, including school buses, delivery trucks and coach buses.

After Victoria's first electric bus is delivered this fall, BC Transit says the remaining buses will begin to be delivered in the summer of 2023.

Proterra buses feature zero tailpipe emissions, saving approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases annually when replacing a diesel bus, according to BC Transit.