Canada Infrastructure Bank helps Calgary Transit in EV transition

The Canadian city of Calgary is preparing to transition public transportation to zero emission. Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the city just announced investing $165 million towards purchasing 259 zero-emission buses by 2027.

The new electric buses will replace the same number of diesel vehicles, with Calgary expecting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes each year. The Calgary Climate Strategy aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The city will own and operate the electric buses through its business unit Calgary Transit.

The CIB’s investment will cover the higher upfront capital costs of electric vehicles compared to diesel buses. Calgary expects further “substantial” financial savings, as lifetime fueling and maintenance costs for a ZEB could be up to 50 per cent lower than a diesel bus, so the statement.

Moreover, “the savings in operations will actually cover the cost of the loan,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. He added that the partnership with Canada Infrastructure Bank had been “critical to transitioning our fleet to zero-emission vehicles much quicker than we could have done on our own”.

Ehren Cory, CEO Canada Infrastructure Bank, added it was part of their mandate “to partner with public transit owners and service providers across the country to provide Canadians with cleaner and faster commutes.”

The CIB is an “impact investor” and is charged with making public funding go further. Its purpose is to “invest $35 billion in revenue-generating infrastructure which benefits Canadians and attracts private capital”. Regarding electric buses, the CIB has a current three-year commitment to invest $1.5 billion in zero emission buses.

In addition, the Canadian government has released a $2.75-billion Zero-Emission Transit Fund that is “closely coordinated” with the efforts undertaken by the CIB.

The capital of Ottawa has been among the first benefactors when receiving a funding commitment of 350 million dollars (€240 mn) from the Government of Canada to procure 350 electric buses this January.

Winnipeg Transit, responsible for public transport in the provincial capital of Manitoba, has also received funding and plans to purchase over 150 electric buses in the coming years.


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