Montreal’s first electric school bus hits the road

Click to play video: 'CSDM spearheads move to electric buses'
CSDM spearheads move to electric buses
WATCH ABOVE: The Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM), the largest school board in the province, is making the shift to electric vehicles. On Tuesday it unveiled the city's first all-electric school bus. Kelly Greig reports – Oct 11, 2016

The iconic yellow school bus is going green. On Tuesday, the Commission scolaire de Montreal (CSDM) unveiled its new electric school bus, the first of its kind in Montreal.

It’s the latest in electric technology.

“It’s 100 per cent electric, it has an electric engine developed by Hydro-Quebec with four battery packs that gives the autonomy of 120 km,” Pierre Deschênes, Autobus Ideal president, said.

One charge will last for two days of pickups and drop-offs.

Inside the hood there’s something different from most electric vehicles — noise.

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“At the beginning it was silent,” Environment Minister, David Heurtel, said. “The engine doesn’t make any noise. Noises had to be added for safety concerns.”

Another big difference between this bus and a regular bus is cost.

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School boards get subsidies from the provincial government to help buy the new buses.

Still, they come with a high price tag.

“It’s three times more expensive than a regular school bus,” Deschênes said. “The government is giving us a [grant] of $125 000.”

A brand new bus costs $300,000- that’s before the green discount.

School boards and the bus company say there are even more savings when you factor in the lack of fuel and maintenance costs.

The provincial government announced an $8.6 million investment in electric vehicles last Wednesday.

READ MORE: Quebec government invests in electric buses and trucks

While this is the first of it’s kind in Montreal, other buses have hit the road in the province.

The government is hoping all of Quebec’s 8000 school buses will be electric.

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