How Canada is both leading and falling behind on electric buses

By Merran Smith and Dan Woynillowicz, National Observer, March 21, 2019

Buses. They’re the veins of our cities, transporting billions of people around their daily lives. Whether it’s a morning commute, a lift home from school, or a trip to the hockey game, buses have been stalwarts of Canadian life for decades.

But most Canadian buses also pollute. Yes, they’re better than cars because they move more people, but they are nonetheless a sizable source of emissions. The good news is there’s a solution, and it’s a big opportunity for Canada.

Enter electric buses (or e-buses), powered by emission-free electric motors making them healthier for both people and the planet. What’s more, many are manufactured here in Canada, and that’s good for business. And with an extra $2.2 billion in Tuesday’s budget earmarked for infrastructure funding — including transit — there is more money available to buy them. Yet despite their appeal, most Canadian transit operators are acquiring few e-buses compared to other cities globally. As a new report by Clean Energy Canada lays out, it’s a missed opportunity.

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