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A British Columbia electric school bus
Public Transit
Jun 23, 2021

The Canada Infrastructure Bank Invests Up To $30 Million In Its First Zero-Emission School Bus Project

Investment in British Columbia supports purchase of 280 sustainable school buses

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.

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

The CIB’s investment is another important step towards achieving the Government of Canada’s goal of 5,000 ZEBs.

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. Financial savings are estimated to be substantial, as lifetime operating costs for ZEBs could be as much as 35 per cent lower than diesel buses.

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. With support from the CIB and the provincial government, the ASTSBC’s members can purchase approximately 280 electric ZEBs and associated charging infrastructure over the next five years.

I am proud the Canada Infrastructure Bank is partnering with the ASTSBC to provide newer, cleaner, greener school buses for students, parents and educators in British Columbia. Modernizing school bus fleets supports healthier communities by significantly reducing air pollutants. This is another example of how the CIB is investing in projects which improve the quality of life for Canadians.

- Ehren Cory, CEO Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia is focused on cutting emissions from our fleets and providing clean, safe transportation to the school children in our care. By partnering with the CIB, we are at the forefront in providing safe and emissions-free vehicles critical to transporting current and future generations of children.

- Frank Marasco, Association Manager, Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia

Cleaner air, quieter streets, and a planet safe for our kids – that’s the goal. In partnership with the Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will help purchase up to 280 zero emission school buses, providing kids across the province with a cleaner, more efficient ride to school. Canada is a world leader in electric bus manufacturing and investing in new zero emission buses will create good jobs and grow the economy. It’s part of the Government’s commitment to help purchase 5,000 more zero emission buses across the country, tackle climate change, and build more inclusive communities.

- The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Getting students to and from school in a cleaner, quieter, and more energy efficient way is a major priority for our government, and we are pleased to have more partners onboard. With 18 electric school buses already on the road in our province and more to come, we are saving school districts money while putting future generations on the road to a clean energy future.

- Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education of British Columbia

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.

- Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

British Columbians are among leaders in Canada for zero-emission vehicle adoption, and electrifying school bus fleets is the logical next step as we reduce harmful transportation emissions and combat climate change. Cleaner, quieter rides to school for our kids is another win for the environment.

- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • The CIB’s $1.5 billion zero-emission bus initiative assists transit agencies and school bus operators to transition their fleets to modern, environmentally friendly vehicles.
  • The CIB seeks to invest up to CAD $5 billion into public transit projects that are in the public interest and support Canadian sustainable economic growth.
  • All CIB’s investments are subject to due diligence and approval by its Board of Directors.

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