Canada has finalized an agreement with the Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia (ASTSBC) to provide up to $30 million towards the purchase of zero-emission school buses (ZEBs).
Under the agreement, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will work in conjunction with the province's Ministry of Education and Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation to provide funding for up to 280 ZEBs, according to a news release from the CIB.
"Getting students to and from school in a cleaner, quieter, and more energy efficient way is a major priority for our government, and we are pleased to have more partners onboard," said Jennifer Whiteside, British Columbia's Minister of Education. "With 18 electric school buses already on the road in our province and more to come, we are saving school districts money while putting future generations on the road to a clean energy future."
As School Bus Fleet previously reported in June, a total of 31 school districts in British Columbia received $13 million in funding from the Ministry of Education to purchase a total of 101 new school buses, including 18 electric buses.
The funding provided by the CIB will be available for ASTSBC's members to make ZEB purchases during the upcoming 2021 school bus purchase program, the CIB reports. The funding will reportedly cover the upfront capital costs of ZEBs, helping to accelerate the electrification of British Columbia's school bus fleet, in addition to boosting financial savings, as lifetime operating costs for ZEBs could be as much as 35% lower than diesel buses.
The electrification of school buses, according to the CIB, will also be a key initiative to help British Columbia reach its goal of 40% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030. It is also another step towards achieving the Government of Canada's goal of 5,000 ZEBs over the next five years.
ASTSBC members that receive funding from the CIB will be responsible for the procurement, charging infrastructure, and maintenance of their ZEBs.