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Features 21-04-2022

3 min read

Earth Day 2022: Hitachi Energy Helps Quebec Public Transit Electrify its Bus Fleet

Each year, Earth Day is an important reminder for all of us at Hitachi Energy to reinforce our commitment to advance a sustainable energy future. This year’s theme for Earth Day is “Invest In Our Planet”: one of the many ways we are accelerating the transition to a carbon-neutral energy system is by investing in the growing electrification of public transportation that helps our partners reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We sat down with Alexandre Lalonde, Business Development Manager – Charging Solutions at Hitachi Energy, to tell us about our new project with the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC), an urban public transit provider in the greater Quebec City area, and how we are helping them achieve their eMobility goals. 

Tell us about Hitachi Energy's involvement in the RTC project

The RTC awarded Hitachi Energy Canada Inc. a contract for the acquisition of charging equipment to be used in the company’s 100% electric bus trial project. It’s a three-year plan that begins at the end of 2022 and includes the testing of all the equipment required for electric fleet operation. After more than two years of influencing the Quebec electric vehicle (EV) market, our teams were able to position our game-changing Grid-eMotion™ technology as the future of electric mobility in large-scale public transport infrastructure for the RTC. What’s exciting about this project is that it not only represents Hitachi Energy’s greatest milestone to date in the North American electric bus sector, but it is a significant milestone for green, reliable, and cutting-edge electric transport in Quebec. 

How is this project helping to tackle climate change in Quebec?

This pilot project will be the first centralized rectification based DC charging technology in Quebec's market which means it is a major step towards the electrification of the RTC’s entire bus fleet— allowing the company to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate the clean energy transition in the province. There are numerous benefits and advantages to driving electric: eBuses are much more energy efficient than diesel buses and have a much smaller carbon footprint, ensuring cleaner air for our future generations. They also emit much less noise than traditional buses, and they are generally more cost-efficient: although the cost to switching to electric may be high at the beginning, electric buses have far lower fuel costs, maintenance, and operational costs in the long run. As you can see, electric buses have many environmental and societal benefits, and they play a key role in achieving our climate goals. 

What makes our Grid-eMotion™ charging solution so game-changing?

As countries and cities aim for more sustainable modes of public transportation, the need for a scalable, reliable, and space-saving smart charging solution becomes crucial. Hitachi Energy has a unique approach to transit electrification. We offer a complete grid-to-plug solution that enables operators to charge more with less: we not only come in with chargers or energy management products, but we offer a holistic solution that ultimately includes sizing up the grid infrastructure to feed these charging systems for large-scale electric fleets. Grid-eMotion™ has helped accelerate sustainable transport in some of the biggest cities in the world including London, Berlin, Vasteras, Copenhagen, and now Quebec! It’s just one of the ways we are placing sustainability at the heart of our purpose and finding solutions to some of the world’s most complex climate challenges.

What is your perspective on the future of electric transportation in Canada?

Transportation accounts for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, so reducing pollution from the transportation sector is critical to achieving our climate targets in this country. We are already seeing provinces like Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia invest in zero-emission buses, and in Quebec the government plans to have 55% of city buses and 65% of school buses electrified by 2030. These kinds of commitments are essential for tackling climate change and require us to think big about scaling up our technology for the electrification of bus fleets. We need to think about not only electrifying individual vehicles but electrifying infrastructure across Canada. We’re already seeing how electricity will be the backbone of our entire energy system and Hitachi Energy has the solutions to help power the future of mobility in North America.

Hitachi Energy is proud to be bringing renewable energy solutions to Quebec, and to be investing in sustainable infrastructure, clean energy, and mobility systems across the country. To learn more about how Hitachi Energy is placing sustainability at the heart of our purpose, check out our Sustainability 2030 strategic plan.