The Canadian capital Ottawa plans to acquire 450 electric buses by 2027 and to convert the current fleet of 939 buses to include only electric buses by 2036. An ongoing agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (BIC) is planning funding of up to $400 million.
That would be enough for Ottawa to fund and phase in the first 450 electric buses by 2027. The proposed deal 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 public transit authority. According to the latter, the transition will cost $986 million over its first five years, with each bus running at $1.3 million.
The plan calls for Ottawa’s electric offensive to begin with 74 electric buses, which are expected to enter service in 2023.
The tentative agreement has been announced, but is awaiting approval from the Transit Commission and Ottawa City Council. They are due to vote on the issue on June 16 and 23. Once approved, the city will issue a call for tenders for the immediate purchase.
Last year, Ottawa ordered four zero-emission buses from Winnipeg’s New Flyer. Other national suppliers could include Quebec electric bus manufacturers Lion Electric and Nova Bus.
Ottawa aims to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions from city operations by 2040.
Electric buses beyond Ottawa
Meanwhile, the CIB is also looking to Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta. Another $14.4 million will be used to purchase 20 electric buses in Edmonton. Other Canadian cities using or considering electric buses include Vancouver, Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton and Halifax.
In addition to the CIB program, Canada’s federal government 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 program 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, in line with our commitment of 5,000 additional zero-emission buses across the country. said Catherine McKenna, federal minister for infrastructure and communities, when the deal was announced.
“This is part of the government’s plan to create good jobs and revive the economy, tackle climate change and build more inclusive communities,” she added.
electricautonomy.ca, cib-bic.ca (Ottawa), cib-bic.ca (Edmonton)