Autobus Transco provides school bus transportation. Serving 8 school service centers Autobus Transco, through its 4 locations in Montreal, transports more than 75% of the students who go to school on the island. Three of these locations are equipped with EV charging stations for electric buses, the installation executed by Britton Electric.
In May 2021 Autobus Transco placed an order for 260 electric school buses. Britton Electric has installed nearly 180 Level 3 EV charging stations in LaSalle, Pointe-Claire and Montréal-Nord.
The installations are a first in Québec to supply this type of custom-built solution. The work was complicated and presented new challenges that required creativity and innovation. Britton Electric rose to the challenge and completed the work in record time using its in-house prefabrication capabilities and engineering expertise.
Work began in the fall of 2021. The highly trained team for all three sites consisted of the same supervisor, foreman and 3 electricians.
All 3 locations had to be fully operational by August 25, 2022. They were delivered and brought online over three consecutive days from August 22 to 24, 2022.
Scope of Work
Beginning in June 2021, Britton Electric began work on the design of the Level 3 EV charging stations.
The layout was designed to accommodate all the electric school buses and to use the limited parking lot space efficiently. This consists of multiple rows of charging stations, each one mounted on concrete stands.
- Coordination of the required excavation
- Installation of underground electrical cabling and wires
- Installation of Level 3 EV charging stations: LaSalle: 71 - Pointe-Claire: 72 - Montréal-Nord Phase I: 36; Phase II: 44 to be completed in September 2023
- Custom-built mini substations with integrated transformers and electrical distribution centres
Challenges and Solutions
Hydro-Québec would not consider dividing the electrical entry points to accommodate the separate rows of charging stations. To provide the electrical distribution from a single point of entry, mini substations were custom-built at the Britton Prefab Department, housed in a modified shipping container.
The container includes the electrical distribution centre and two transformers installed on the roof. Structural reinforcements were needed to support the load that was put on the container. This includes the weight of the transformers, additional weight of snow and the requirement to withstand high winds.
To deliver the sites on time the work continued as the buses were rolling throughout the school year. This required high levels of coordination and timely work.
The LaSalle and Pointe-Claire locations presented an additional challenge: limited parking space and a high number of buses. This added another layer of complexity; ensuring the safety and security of the Britton team.
The Britton Advantage
- The Britton culture, talent and infrastructure to encourage and support innovation.
- Faced with new challenges, the ability to custom-build solutions.
- Close collaboration with Hydro-Québec that contributed to the success of the project.
- Mini substations, integrating the electrical distribution centre along with structural reinforcements, were built entirely at the Britton Prefab Department prior to onsite installation.
- With nearly everything prefabricated, the Britton Electric team was extremely efficient, reducing the number of staff required to complete the project.