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Electric bus charges into service: test aims to lower fuel bills and greenhouse gasses

For immediate release: Tue, 2020-07-21 12:13
TC20-1415

Saskatoon Transit is proud to announce it will be testing an electric bus over the next year as part of the public transport fleet. This initiative supports elements of the Official Community Plan and the City of Saskatoon’s Strategic Plan goals of Environmental Leadership and Moving Around.  

The total project cost is estimated to be $533,600 of which $234,300 is funded from the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), a fund financed by the Government of Canada and administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). 

Today’s announcement also reaches a milestone in Saskatoon’s Low Emission Community Plan, which prescribes the municipal transit fleet be 100% electric by 2030. The electric bus project’s net carbon emissions reduction is expected to be 50.3 tonnes of CO2 per bus, per year (this number accounts for the bus and the electrical grid’s emissions-intensity factors) and saves approximately $27,500 in fuel costs per bus, per year.   

This project will include a strong focus on how an electric bus will perform in Saskatchewan’s very cold winter weather, which will be of interest to many other Canadian communities with longer, colder winters like ours. Also, Saskatoon Transit’s collaboration on this project with the Saskatchewan Research Council will be valuable to replicate it and share that knowledge across the province. 

Quick facts: 

  • The electric bus can be charged in approximately 5 hours 
  • 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 electric bus pilot initiates one of the 40 actions in the 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 electric bus unit number will be 1948, representing the year the first 8 electric buses hit the streets of Saskatoon 

Benefits: 

  • Improved air quality at transit terminals, and along bus routes will improve public health 
  • Less noise pollution along bus routes will improve the community’s quality of life 
  • Lower operation and maintenance costs  
  • Offering a modern transit system will help to increase transit ridership 

Quotations: 
“We’re investing in the future. This electric bus pilot project will give the people of Saskatoon a practical and environmentally friendly option for their everyday commute. Canada’s Infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across Canada and builds stronger communities.” The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities 

“Zero emissions vehicles are part of Canada’s net-zero future. Our government is working to give Canadians greener options to get where they need to go.” The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

“This is a great step towards the further expansion of zero-emission technology in Saskatoon. The world of transportation is changing rapidly and we need to adapt and implement these new technologies to be ready. This will also help us make important strides in meeting our long-term sustainability goals.” City of Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark 

Local governments are Canada’s builders. They own nearly two thirds of the public infrastructure that supports Canada’s economy and quality of life. Whether it’s through better transit, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, or stronger local infrastructure, municipalities like Saskatoon are building better lives for Canadians. Supported by our strong federal-municipal partnership, FCM’s Green Municipal fund helps municipalities do what they do best: deliver solutions that work.” Darren Hill, FCM Third Vice-President and Councillor, City of Saskatoon 

"Buses already help tackle climate change by providing a way to get around other than in cars or trucks. With more people taking transit in Saskatoon, electric buses will make a real difference. This pilot helps Saskatoon Transit achieve our goal of replacing 10 conventional buses with electric buses per year, creating an all-electric fleet within the next 10 years." Jim McDonald, Director of Saskatoon Transit.