If confirmed, the order for 1,000 Lion Electric school buses would be fulfilled starting in 2022 and lasting through the first half of 2026. - File photo

If confirmed, the order for 1,000 Lion Electric school buses would be fulfilled starting in 2022 and lasting through the first half of 2026.

File photo

Student Transportation of Canada, a subsidiary of Student Transportation of America, has placed a conditional purchase order with The Lion Electric Co. for 1,000 electric school buses.

The order depends on STC receiving a grant from Infrastructure Canada's Zero-Emission Transit Fund (ZETF), for which the transportation company has applied. Under the ZETF program, the Canadian government aims to invest $2.75 billion over five years to support public transit and school bus operators as they shift to fleet electrification.

If confirmed, it is estimated that the order would make STC the largest operator of zero-emission school buses in North America. Deliveries would begin in 2022 and occur through the first half of 2026, according to a news release. These buses would replace existing diesel vehicles within STC's Canadian fleet. The operator plans to work closely with customers and partners to determine which school districts would adopt the new electric buses.

Lion estimates that the deployment of 1,000 all-electric school buses would help eliminate about 23,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and reduce noise pollution in the communities in which they operate.

"We applaud STC for its leadership and vision to accelerate the deployment of all-electric school buses in Canada, and we thank them for trusting Lion with such an important transition," said Marc Bedard, the CEO and founder of Lion Electric. "This large-scale deployment would position Canada as a clear leader in the electrification of school transportation, in great part due to innovative programs like the ZETF."

Said STC President Chris Harwood: "We are pleased to support electric school bus deployment in Canada. The ZETF enables school bus electrification to move closer to reality, with students as the true beneficiaries. There is still much work to be done, but STC recognizes that as global stewards we must act to operate sustainably. Electrification is a huge step toward improving the environment for our students and the communities we serve."

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