Electric Bus Pilot

100% Electric Saskatoon Transit Bus

Saskatoon Transit is proud to announce it is testing an electric bus over the next year as part of the public transport fleet. This electric bus pilot initiates one of the 40 actions in Saskatoon’s Low Emission Community Plan for the municipal transit fleet to be 100% electric by 2030. The City will also start testing electric vehicles later this year as part of another transportation action to electrify the entire municipal fleet
The Green Municipal Fund (GMF), a fund financed by the Government of Canada and administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is paying 50% of the negotiated lease amount of $9,500/month. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was put out on Sask Tenders. BYD met all of the criteria in their response to the RFP and were the successful proponent. The total contract price and the list of who responded to the RFP is available on SaskTenders.ca. 
This project will include a strong focus on how an electric bus will perform in Saskatchewan’s very cold winter weather along with the effectivenes of electric heat, which will be of interest to many other Canadian communities with similar climates.
Quick facts:
  • This leased electric bus is 100% electric using electric heat; 
  • The bus can be charged in approximately 5 hours;
  • The approximate range of the bus is 278 km;
  • One bus is expected to reduce 50.3 tonnes of CO2 per year (this number accounts for the bus and the electrical grid’s emissions intensity factors) and save ~$27,500 in fuel costs per year compared to a conventional diesel bus;
  • This model has seating for up to 41 passengers;
  • 3000 lbs heavier compared to a conventional diesel bus; and 
  • The electric bus unit number is 1948, representing the year the first 8 electric buses hit the streets of Saskatoon.
  • Improved air quality at transit terminals, and along bus routes to improve public health;
  • Less noise pollution along bus routes to improve the community’s quality of life;
  • Lower operation and maintenance costs; and   
  • Offering a modern transit system will help to increase transit ridership.


  • Without a diesel drivetrain and with regenerative braking, there are expected saving on maintenance. Maintenance costs TBD.
  • There are no training costs. The charger and training are worked into the cost of the bus and comes as part of the whole package.
  • Mechanics are still needed for servicing. The bus is still a bus, it still has brakes/steering/ suspension/doors that all require regular maintenance. The focus on the diesel engine will fade and the focus will move to the electrical drive system. 
  • The bus is  included in regular routes to see whether the range meets with the manufacturers advertised figures.
  • Range and capacity are things that are continually changing as battery technology improves. The one year pilot will provide data on whether an electic bus should be purchased compared to leased.