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Report calls for increase in electric buses as manufacturing footprint grows

An electric bus is shown at the Nova Bus production plant in St. Eustache, Que., on March 7, 2012. A new report by a green energy think-tank calls for increased investment in electric buses to both reduce emissions and boost Canada's growing manufacturing base of the vehicles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

TORONTO — A new report by a green energy think-tank calls for increased investment in electric buses to both reduce emissions and boost Canada’s growing manufacturing base of the vehicles.

The report by Clean Energy Canada says that while Canada is a leading manufacturer of electric buses, transit authorities are behind international peers.

China is by far the leader in electric buses with about 99 per cent the world’s e-buses, including Shenzhen’s more than 16,000-strong fleet. Other cities have also committed to moving in that direction, including Amsterdam that is aiming to transition to zero-emissions buses by 2025 and Los Angeles by 2030.

Several Canadian cities have also set fully-renewable fleet targets, but on less aggressive timelines. Montreal is aiming for 2040, Toronto by 2042 and Vancouver by 2050, the report notes.

The report’s call for more buses comes the same week as a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Ltd. found the world’s electric buses will displace about 270,000 barrels a day of diesel by the end of this year as the heavily used vehicles have an outsized impact on fuel demand.

Clean Energy’s report notes Canada has several leading manufacturers of electric buses, including Winnipeg-based New Flyer, Vancouver-based GreenPower, and Quebec-based Lion Electric Co. and Nova Bus, that could be boosted by increased domestic demand.

The Canadian Press