The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), the City of Toronto and PowerON are collectively investing $4.3 million in electric transit innovations.
IESO is investing $4.3 million, while the remaining parties are contributing $10.3 million. The collected sum will be used on two projects that aim to “explore innovative ways that large batteries can help subways and electric buses. The projects hope to reduce peak demands and strain on the electricity system.”
According to the IESO, Ontario’s electric transportation sector may grow 20 percent each year. This projection is “for the foreseeable future.” As a result, there’s an increase in electricity demand. Because of this, the investment hopes to seek ways batteries can store energy during low-demand periods and supply it during peak hours.
The two projects attached to the $14.6 million investment include supplying electric buses with battery storage capabilities. Additionally, TTC subway trains are to make use of regenerative braking.
PowerON is deploying a smart charging management system and batteries to minimize how much battery-electric buses charge during peak hours at TTC’s Birchmount and Malvern garages. These batteries are also to assist grid services to the provincial electric market.
Further, TTC subway trains are to utilize the regenerative braking system. It will allow the TTC to use energy that is otherwise burned off as heat. Currently, the braking system captures a portion of kinetic energy and transfers it to other trains to assist in acceleration.
“As we look to advance the electrification of all vehicles to meet our climate goals, these projects will help us make the TTC transit system more sustainable and efficient, and most importantly it will contribute to a cleaner, greener city,” Toronto mayor John Tory said in a statement.
The TTC currently has the largest fleet of battery-electric buses across North America. By 2040, the City of Toronto aims to achieve net-zero emissions.