The Canadian capital Ottawa plans to procure 450 electric buses by 2027 and to convert the current fleet of 939 buses to include only electric buses by 2036. A pending agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) provides for funding of up to $400 million.
This would be enough for Ottawa to finance and phase into service the first 450 e-buses by 2027. The proposed agreement between the city, the federal government and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) would see the CIB invest up to $400 million to support OC Transpo, Ottawa’s transit authority. According to the latter, the transition will cost $986 million in its first five years, with each bus running $1.3 million.
The plan is for Ottawa’s electricity offensive to start with 74 electric buses, expected to enter service in 2023.
The agreement has been announced in principle, but it is pending approval by Ottawa’s Transit Commission and City Council. They are to vote on the matter on 16 and 23 June. Once approved, the city will issue a tender for the immediate purchase.
Ottawa last year ordered four zero-emission buses from Winnipeg-based New Flyer. Other domestic providers could include Quebec-based electric bus makers Lion Electric and Nova Bus.
Ottawa operates a target of reducing all greenhouse gas emissions from city operations by 2040.
E-buses beyond Ottawa
Meanwhile, the CIB also looks to Edmonton, the capital of Alberta province. Another $14.4 million are to support the procurement of 20 electric buses in Edmonton. Other Canadian cities using or planning to use electric buses include Vancouver, Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton and Halifax.
In addition to the CIB program, Canada’s federal government had announced in March that it would invest $2.75 billion over the next five years to help transit agencies purchase a total of 5,000 zero-emission buses. The programme is part of a larger, eight-year, $14.9 billion investment plan unveiled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for public transit in March 2021.
“By partnering with the City of Ottawa, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will help bring 450 new zero-emission buses to the streets of Ottawa, towards our commitment of 5,000 more zero-emission buses across the country,” said Catherine McKenna, federal minister of infrastructure and communities, at the deal’s announcement.
“It’s part of the government’s plan to create good jobs and kickstart the economy, tackle climate change, and build more inclusive communities,” she added.
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