Report calls for increase in electric buses as manufacturing footprint grows

TORONTO — A new report by a green energy think-tank calls for increased investment in electric buses to both reduce emissions and boost Canada’s growing manufacturing base of the vehicles.

The report by Clean Energy Canada says that while Canada is a leading manufacturer of electric buses, transit authorities are behind international peers.

“Canada’s cautious on some of these things,” said Merran Smith, executive director the think tank based out of Simon Fraser University.

“Electric vehicles are beginning to really take off, but people aren’t really talking so much about electric buses and there’s huge potential with them.”

China is by far the leader in electric buses with about 99 per cent the world’s e-buses, including Shenzhen’s more than 16,000-strong fleet. Other cities have also committed to moving in that direction, including Amsterdam which is aiming to transition to zero-emissions buses by 2025 and Los Angeles by 2030.

Several Canadian cities have also set fully-renewable fleet targets, but on less aggressive timelines. Montreal is aiming for 2040, Toronto by 2042 and Vancouver by 2050, the report notes.

The report’s call for more buses comes the same week as a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Ltd. found the world’s electric buses will displace about 270,000 barrels a day of diesel by the end of this year as the heavily used vehicles have an outsized impact on fuel demand.

The report also estimates that by 2030, electric buses will have about the same up front cost as diesel. Currently e-buses cost about two to four times more.

But the costs are far less if the full life of the bus is considered. Translink estimates lifecycle costs, which factor in fuel and maintenance, will be about the same by 2023, while if health costs of diesel are considered the price is close to equal now, said Smith.

Edmonton, which has run a pilot program for electric vehicles but has no target for going fully renewable, found that maintenance costs were more than 40 per cent cheaper compared with diesel buses.

Clean Energy’s report notes that Canada has several leading manufacturers of electric buses, including Winnipeg-based New Flyer, Vancouver-based GreenPower, and Quebec-based Lion Electric Co. and Nova Bus, which could be boosted by increased domestic demand.

“We have four great Canadian companies producing electric buses, you know in Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, so really there’s an opportunity to support these made in Canada products.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drugs seized from Innisfail home

Innisfail RCMP conduct search warrant

Police move to clear rail blockade on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY, Ont. — Ontario Provincial Police moved Monday morning to… Continue reading

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

BARSTOW, Calif. — A California man who said he wanted to fly… Continue reading

Markets tank on concern about virus impact on world economy

BANGKOK — Shares skidded, oil prices sank and the price of gold… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Raptors Uprising GC offer second chance to gamer suspended for 2019 season

TORONTO — Raptors Uprising GC, the gaming arm of the Raptors, has… Continue reading

Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson wins Canadian women’s curling championship

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — A dream team of former skips came together… Continue reading

Weinstein jury back to work with signs of split over charges

NEW YORK — Jurors at Harvey Weinstein’s New York City rape trial… Continue reading

Jane Goodall’s ‘The Book of Hope’ coming out in 2021

NEW YORK — Jane Goodall’s next book will be a tribute to… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake Wranglers comeback to nab OT win in Game 2 over Red Deer Vipers

The Sylvan Lake Wranglers have a knack for the dramatics early in… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Most Read