The City of Guelph says it has purchased four fully electric transit buses that should be running by next summer, replacing diesel buses currently on the road.
Work is now underway at the Guelph Transit facility on Watson Road to install charging equipment for the buses.
The city also added that over the next year, transit officials will be analyzing data such as passenger counts, distance travelled and the number of stops a bus makes to determine which routes the electric buses will be assigned to.
“The city has spent the last two years analyzing route data and modelling studies and connecting with other transit providers to share learned experiences before putting out a request for proposals to purchase new electric buses,” said Chris Hill, the city’s program manager of fleet planning.
“The winning proposal from Nova Bus is just the start of a robust plan to train staff, determine the best routes and expand our infrastructure to power these new buses.”
The city said the purchase marks an important milestone in its effort to reach 100 per cent renewable energy use by 2050.
Guelph Transit buses produce 35 per cent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, the city said. The goal is to have 65 electric buses added to its fleet by 2028.
The city is following a number of major Canadian cities that have already started using electric buses, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
The new buses are expected to offer a quieter, more comfortable ride, while reducing maintenance costs and lasting longer than diesel engines, the city said.
An initial investment of $5.3 million is part of the $177 million to expand and electrify Guelph Transit’s fleet, infrastructure and facilities.
The federal government has offered up $40 million, while the province is chipping in $33 million. The remaining $104 million is coming from the city using $47 million in development charges and $57 million of tax-supported reserve funds.