Updated October 23: The TTC amended the staff recommendations by adding two clauses, roughly as follows:
- The TTC should withhold award of the optional 120-bus add-on order for clean diesels with Daimler Buses until the problem with batteries on the existing fleet are resolved. If this is not done, the TTC should go with an alternative supplier.
- The TTC should investigate conversion of the 2009 bus puchase from Hybrid to Clean Diesel. Staff should explore the options for contract termination as well as the impact of the technology change on funding from various sources.
It is unclear how the first point can be achieved given that the cutoff date for exercising the existing contract’s add-on provision is October 31, 2008.
At this point it is clear that the 2010 bus order will be diesel, and there is a strong move to convert the 2009 order as well notwithstanding possible advances in battery technology.
(Original October 16 post below)
The TTC’s next order of buses will be clean diesels, not hybrids, according to a report on the agenda of the October 23 TTC meeting.
Battery reliability on the hybrids has been far below expectations — barely over a year’s life as opposed to the expected four years. Although new battery technology is expected to resolve this problem, it is too early in the technology cycle for TTC to commit a large bus purchase to this. Moreover, other problems (unspecified in the report) affect the hybrid design.
Therefore, the TTC will order 120 clean diesels for delivery in 2010.
Sean Marshall writes about trolley buses on spacing.ca.
Tess Kalinowski writes about hybrid buses on thestar.com.