The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announced it has achieved financial close on an investment of up to $380 million with the City of Ottawa to help finance up to an additional 446 OC Transpo zero-emission buses (ZEBs) through 2027.
The CIB’s loan will contribute towards the upfront capital cost of the battery-electric buses, which will help accelerate the electrification of OC Transpo’s bus fleet.
“I am delighted our investment to support the City of Ottawa’s transition to a fleet of 446 zero-emission buses has achieved financial close. Our partnership will help the City meet its climate targets and provide cleaner public transportation for future generations. This is a tremendous opportunity to modernize municipal infrastructure and support a greener community,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank.
OC Transpo welcomed its first four new 40-foot battery-electric buses into service in early 2022 and, thanks in part to CIB funding, is seeking to add 26 more in 2023, and another 420 by the end of 2027. With the gradual phase-out of diesel buses as they reach the end of their life cycle, OC Transpo could achieve a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2036.
“With their distinctive green plug decals, OC Transpo’s new electric buses have been a welcomed sight in our community. The CIB’s investment in 446 new electric buses on our roads is creating a cleaner and greener Ottawa. Each electric bus is a symbol of our city’s transition towards more comfortable public transportation and helps move us to net-zero emissions,” said Mona Fortier, president of the Treasury Board and MP for Ottawa-Vanier.
The electrification of vehicles is a key initiative to help the City of Ottawa’s goal of reducing GHG emissions in City operations by 100 per cent by 2040 and demonstrates the City’s commitment to lead by example.
Consistent with the CIB’s ZEB initiative, repayment of the investment is expected to be covered through the anticipated reduced operating costs over the life of the ZEBs as compared to diesel buses.
Energy supply and charging infrastructure will be supplied by Hydro Ottawa through a separate agreement with the City.
“Transportation accounted for 42 per cent of GHG emissions in Ottawa in 2020, which is why our commitment to converting all buses to electric over the next 15 years is a key pillar to Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy. Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change impacts and this CIB investment allows Ottawa to take a leadership role in implementing community GHG reductions,” said Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa.