British Columbia Zero-Emission School Buses

Project Name: British Columbia Zero-Emission School Buses

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Partner: Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia

Location: British Columbia

Sector: Public Transit

Participation: $30 million

Description: The CIB and the Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia have completed an agreement for the CIB to support the purchase of zero-emission buses (ZEBs) with an investment of up to $30 million. With the CIB’s financing and funding provided by the provincial government, the ASTSBC’s members (which include school districts, bus contractors and private schools) can purchase approximately 280 electric ZEBs and associated charging infrastructure over next five years.

ZEBs are quieter and are expected to have lower maintenance and fueling costs compared to equivalent GHG-emitting vehicles. By replacing 280 diesel fuelled school buses with zero-emission ones, the project will help reducing GHGs by 4,760 tonnes on an annual basis, which is the equivalent of removing 1,458 passenger vehicles from the road every year. The buses contribute to the province’s shift toward more sustainable transportation, lowering its carbon footprint while providing a high-quality transit service for students. 

The CIB’s financing will work in conjunction with funding provided by British Columbia’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and is available for ZEB purchases during the upcoming 2021 school bus purchase program.

The CIB will finance a portion of the ZEB purchase price and will be repaid from cost savings from the ZEB as measured against costs of an equivalent GHG-emitting bus.

Benefits of the CIB Involvement

The CIB’s zero-emission bus initiative assists transit agencies and school boards transition their fleets to modern, environmentally friendly vehicles. The CIB‘s financing, in the form of direct loans, can cover the higher upfront capital cost of ZEBs and charging infrastructure versus diesel buses. The CIB enables partners to take advantage of flexible financing options to modernize their bus fleets on an accelerated basis.

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