While the world sits in awe of down markets, the recoil in China, the price of oil and dropping dollar – there remain a few industries that boldly charge on. There are companies inside of these fast paced, high demand industries that remain busy with regular advancements and continue to surprise. In electric powered urban transportation we are now seeing technology solutions and demonstration projects that shine a light on how we might advance to meet the future demand and make the shift to an electric transportation ecosystem.
Similar to renewable energy generation, we know that the technology exists to generate electricity at scale, the question that is hotly debated lies in how we go about the transition in a realistic way. Thus, the opportunity at hand lies in the integration of renewables with existing oil and gas and supply infrastructure, that will allow us to then advance to a low carbon, sustainable energy future.
As in power generation, the same concept applies in transportation. The imminent opportunity in urban electric transportation lies in the integration of electric drive train and systems technology that fits into and integrate with the vast infrastructure, network and fleet of carbon emitting buses, trains and transport.
How would this work? By integrating electric systems and drivetrain into buses at the mandatory mid-life upgrade point in their lifecycle. Rather than the current upgrades to the same diesel engines we’re trying to move away from, a tangible entry point emerges for an electric system.
Thompson Power, a developer of transportation energy software and power systems, have announced a strategic partnership with Wilson’s Transportation of Victoria, BC, to convert two of Wilson’s “double deck” buses to zero emission battery electric power. This demonstration project will then allow them to accurately evaluate the potential of a full fleet conversion.
The full press release can be seen here.
Thomson Power will convert the diesel buses to zero emission battery electric power using its patented next generation energy efficiency optimization software based technology and custom built ThomsonDrive® electric powertrain system offering zero emissions, best in class performance using Canadian sourced components in a cost effective turnkey package customized for rapid deployment and aggressive return on investment. The Partners will collaborate on the pilot demonstration in Victoria BC utilizing the experience and support of several Canadian electric vehicle component manufacturers and suppliers. After successfully completing a Phase 1 -Statement of Interest at the end of 2015 and being selected as an eligible project of interest, Thomson Power was invited to submit for grant funding by the National Research Council of Canada through its Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) program for the demonstration project. This program funds Canadian technology development and demonstration to provide real world testing and proof of concept. The funding process combines the technology and business due diligence of the private sector with an additional level of appraisal that assesses broad public environmental and economic benefits. STDC supports only the most innovative technologies with the potential to meet market demand and to achieve Canada’s environmental and economic goals in priority areas.
Data driven demonstration projects will be key in decision making by key players and transportation authorities make changes and adopt new technology into fleets worldwide.
As the critical demand for sustainable transportation continues to grow, it is companies like Thomson Power that can showcase a method of how we can transition bus fleets from carbon emitting behemoths to advanced sustainable electric vessels, by starting with updating the transportation infrastructure we currently have in place.