TORONTO — The Lion Electric Co. is delivering 13 electric school buses to Ontario operators as part of a pilot for the province’s government.
School bus operators received funding to purchase an electric school bus and charging infrastructure as part of the Ontario Electric School Bus Pilot Program, which will evaluate the performance of the buses. As SBF previously reported, Ontario invested $8 million in the pilot as part of the province’s five-year Climate Change Action Plan. The pilot is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37% by 2030, and 80% by 2050.
The 13 applicants who were selected for the pilot chose the eLion, Lion’s flagship electric school bus. All the buses will be delivered within the next three weeks, Marc-Andre Page, director of business development for Lion Electric Co., told SBF.
The buses will be deployed in different climate conditions and fleet sizes, in locations such as Ottawa, London, Mississauga, Toronto, Kenora (located in northwestern Ontario), and Chapleau (located in northeastern Ontario).
Lion has deployed over 150 eLions over the last two years across North America, with more than 1 million kilometers (about 620,000 miles) driven, according to the bus manufacturer.
“Electrifying school buses is the most environmental, social, and cost-effective solution to protect our children from harmful emissions and improve educational experiences,” said Marc Bedard, Lion Electric Co.’s CEO and founder. “Lion is proud that our zero-emission buses are able to support this Ontario initiative. We are also thankful for our private bus partners for leading the EV [electric vehicle] movement and are excited to launch the first electric school buses in Ontario’s history.”
“The Ontario Electric School Bus Pilot Program is a fantastic initiative for the future of Ontario’s clean transportation industry,” said Benoit Morin, vice president of sales for Lion Electric Co. “Lion has provided technical and maintenance training to the eLion owners as well as driver’s training and charging infrastructure support. We believe that offering best-in-class aftermarket product assistance is key to this pilot’s success.”
Switzer-Carty Transportation is one of the private school bus partners selected to participate in the electric bus pilot, and the first to take delivery of a new eLion.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to be a part of this innovative initiative and test leading edge electric power buses,” said Jim Switzer, president and CEO of Switzer-Carty Transportation.