Canada: Halifax prepares to buy 60 electric buses

With financial support from the state and provincial government, the Canadian city of Halifax will purchase its first 60 electric buses, including charging infrastructure, and plans to electrify its entire fleet of buses, currently consisting of 340 diesel vehicles, by 2028 at the latest.

The tender for the first 60 e-buses will start this summer. Halifax’s first battery buses should start operating in 2023 and complete deliveries by 2024.

The state contributes $44.8 million to the procurement initiative, the Province of Nova Scotia $37.3 million and the city of Halifax itself another $29.8 million. In addition to Halifax, a number of other Canadian cities are planning to purchase electric buses.

In April, for example, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) decided to purchase an additional 300 electric buses for use in Toronto. These buses should be operational between 2023 and 2025 – and strengthen the carrier’s current fleet of 60 e-buses. In June, it was also announced that the capital, Ottawa, aims to integrate 450 electric buses by 2027. Initially, 74 e-solo buses announced for 2023 will start. Edmonton also plans to operate e-buses. Initially, 20 copies will be purchased there. Other Canadian cities that use or plan to use electric buses include Vancouver, Oakville and Hamilton.

Transport companies receive financial support from various sources: Infrastructure Bank of Canada has launched a program for zero-emission buses and associated infrastructure. Specifically, the bank supports the purchase of electric vehicles with loans that cover the higher investment costs compared to diesel buses.

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Additionally, the Canadian government announced in March that it would invest $2.75 billion over the next five years to support transportation companies to purchase a total of 5,000 zero-emissions buses – including school buses – and their charging infrastructure. From this year, the funds should be available to municipalities, transport companies and school authorities. The program is part of a larger, $14.9 billion, eight-year investment plan Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a few months ago for public transportation.

With this funding, Canada wants to kill many birds with one stone, i.e. to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, ensure a cleaner environment and network communities more closely. Several electric bus manufacturers are active in the country, such as Nova Bus in Saint-Eustache, Lion Electrique in Saint-Jérôme, GreenPower in Vancouver, and New Flyer in Winnipeg.
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