Largest ever increase in the number of zero-emission transit buses in Canada

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OTTAWA, ON, June 7, 2021 / CNW / – Canadian municipalities are leaders in the fight against climate change, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is partnering with them to dramatically increase sustainable public transit.

Canada Infrastructure Bank | Canada Infrastructure Bank (CNW Group / Canada Infrastructure Bank)

CIB and City of Ottawa are proud to announce their agreement in principle, which would see CIB invest up to $ 400 million, supporting OC Transpo’s adoption of 450 zero emission buses (ZEBs) by 2027. This is CIB’s second investment commitment with a large municipality and supports the largest conversion of transport vehicles into common in Canada nowadays.

ZEBs can improve the quality of life for residents who will benefit from cleaner transportation options, which also helps protect the environment. The transition from greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting transit buses to ZEBs will help municipalities move towards more sustainable transportation with a lower carbon footprint.

ZEB’s investment commitment is another important step towards the achievement of the government of from Canada target of 5,000 ZEB.

The electrification of vehicles is a key initiative to help the City meet its goal of reducing GHG emissions in City operations by 100% by 2040 and demonstrates the City’s commitment to lead by example. Each battery-powered electric bus will save 35,000 liters of fuel each year, which corresponds to the annual consumption of a conventional diesel bus.

As noted in the City’s report released today, Zero emission bus for OC Transpo, to be examined by the Transit Commission on June 16, City staff will seek approval from Ottawa City Council to enter into agreements with CIB. As part of the City’s 2022 capital budget, OC Transpo will recommend the purchase of 74 40-foot battery-powered electric buses, and the required charging infrastructure, for commissioning in 2023.

The CIB loan will cover the higher initial investment costs of ZEBs compared to diesel buses, thus helping to accelerate the electrification of the city’s bus fleet. The financial savings are estimated to be substantial, as the lifetime operating costs of ZEBs could be up to 35% lower than those of diesel buses.

The energy supply and recharging infrastructure for this proposed transition will be provided through an agreement with Hydro Ottawa.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank is committed to investing $ 1.5 billion in zero-emission buses and related infrastructure, which will be coordinated with Infrastructure Canada’s new funding for zero-emission transit. This program, which is expected to be officially launched in the near future, will support the purchase of zero-emission public transit and school buses.


Cleaner air, quieter streets and a safe planet for our children – that’s the goal. By partnering with the City of Ottawa, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will help put 450 new zero-emission buses on the streets of Ottawa, towards our commitment of 5,000 additional zero emission buses across the country. It’s part of the government’s plan to create good jobs and jumpstart the economy, tackle climate change, and build more inclusive communities.
The Honorable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Switching from diesel buses to battery electric buses is one of the most effective actions we can take to respond that of Ottawa objective of reducing the GHGs emitted by the City’s operations by 100% by 2040. This historic investment in zero-emission public transit brings us one step closer to this objective and to the transition Ottawa into a clean, renewable and resilient city, ready for the future.
Jim watson, mayor, City of Ottawa

I am delighted that CIB is making a major investment in the from the City of Ottawa ZEB initiative. 450 new zero emission buses is really huge. Our partnership will help the City meet its climate goals and provide cleaner public transportation for future generations. This is a tremendous opportunity to modernize municipal infrastructure and build healthier communities. CIB seeks to invest in projects that improve the quality of life of Canadians, and this is a good example.
Ehren Cory, President and CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

that of Ottawa the energy future is not just about being green, it is about being sustainable. Our role at Hydro Ottawa is twofold; build the reliable electrical infrastructure needed to support our city’s commitment to a smart energy future; and bring electricity into the 21st century by ensuring that the energy we use is produced with clean, renewable energy. The electrification of our public transit system is essential for our city and our national capital to meet their energy and climate goals, and we are proud to help achieve these goals.
Bryce conrad, President and CEO, Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

Fast facts:

  • CIB’s $ 1.5 billion zero-emission bus initiative helps transit agencies and school bus operators migrate their fleets to modern, environmentally friendly vehicles.

  • CIB seeks to invest up to CAD $ 5 billion in transit projects that are in the public interest and support Canada’s sustainable economic growth.

  • CIB’s investments are subject to due diligence and the approval of its Board of Directors.

Learn more:


SOURCE Canada Infrastructure Bank



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