Canadian Manufacturing

The Canada Infrastructure Bank invests up to $30M in zero-emission school bus project

Investment in British Columbia supports purchase of 280 sustainable school buses.

June 23, 2021  by CM Staff

TORONTO — The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia (ASTSBC) have finalized an agreement for the CIB to provide up to $30 million towards the purchase of up to 280 zero-emission school buses (ZEBs).

Zero emission school buses are more environmentally friendly and economically efficient than traditional diesel buses, and they will help to get the next generation of students to school in a sustainable and safe way.

The CIB’s financing will work in conjunction with funding provided by the provincial government’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. All funding will be available for ASTSBC’s members to make ZEB purchases during the upcoming 2021 school bus purchase program.

ZEBs are expected to have lower maintenance and fueling costs compared to equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting vehicles. A zero-emission electric school bus saves approximately 17 tonnes of GHGs annually compared to a diesel school bus and helps owners lower their carbon footprint.

Advertisement

The electrification of school buses is one initiative meant to help British Columbia’s goal of reducing GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Bus operators will be responsible for procurement, charging infrastructure and maintenance of vehicles.

The CIB’s loan will cover the higher upfront capital costs of ZEBs compared to diesel buses, helping to accelerate the electrification of the school bus fleet.

Achieving financial close on this project signifies that all contractual steps have been completed to allow the ASTSBC’s members to access the CIB’s financing. The ASTSBC’s members can purchase approximately 280 electric ZEBs and associated charging infrastructure over the next five years.

“We are working with our federal partners to create a cleaner environment for students and putting future generations on the road to a clean energy future. Not only do zero-emission school buses help communities reduce their pollution, but they also cost less over time to operate.” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.