The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has come to an agreement with the Bus Carriers Federation in Quebec to provide a $400 million investment for the purchase of 4,000 electric school buses. A leader in the passenger transportation space, the Bus Carriers Federation will reportedly work as the main facility where school bus operators can place orders using the loan.
CIB has structured their investment as a long-term loan which will span across five years, helping bus operators to cover the upfront costs of new, electric school buses. This loan arrives as part of the $1.5 billion zero-emission bus initiative, which aims to accelerate Quebec’s transition from diesel transit vehicles to an all-electric future.
In fact, earlier this year, Quebec’s premier François Legault pledged to invest $250 million to transition 65 per cent of the province’s school bus fleet to electric buses over the next three years.
In an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada, Charles Todd, managing director of investments at CIB, spoke to the long-term advantage of switching to electric school buses in the province. “It’s a loan that’s based on the expected savings that the buses are going to generate over their life,” explains Todd. “If you think about running a diesel bus for 10 years, you’re going to spend a certain amount of money on diesel, [but] running an electric bus for 10 years, you’re going to spend a lot less money on electricity. So the difference between those two numbers is how [much] we’re repaid.”
Quebec bus operators who take advantage of the loan, which is expected to be finalized by next March, will be responsible for repaying them over the life of each purchased bus.