Oakville Transit unveils first zero-emission battery electric buses
Oakville celebrates the arrival of its first batch of zero-emission battery electric buses, marking a significant step towards its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement sustainable initiatives in public transit.
Oakville Transit has announced that it has unveiled its first-ever zero-emission battery electric buses, as the town continues to implement environmentally friendly and sustainable initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.
Oakville Transit’s first batch of battery electric specialised buses had arrived in January 2023. The electric vehicles will replace existing diesel-fuelled buses and will be how Oakville continues to expand its public transit fleet.
Manufactured by Karsan, the 20-foot e-Jest model buses will be hitting the streets in spring 2023 and will be used to deliver transit services, such as care-A-van, Home to Hub and Ride On-Demand in north and southeast Oakville.
In order to support battery charging for the electric buses, 10 charging stations have also been installed at Oakville Transit’s operations facility.
The town is on track to acquire the first 15 zero-emission battery electric buses to be used for conventional services (larger buses operating for fixed-routes) in early 2024. Over the next five years, it is planned that approximately 50% of Oakville Transit’s fleet will be converted from diesel to electric.
Given Oakville’s 2019 climate emergency declaration, and its strong commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, the town is making use of available funding from the Government of Canada to accelerate the green transition of its transit fleet.
In 2020, the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario and the Town of Oakville had announced joint funding to support the electrification of Oakville Transit buses, with the federal government contributing nearly $5.3 million, the province contributing $4.4 million and the town contributing over $3.5 million. This funding will support the first phase of electrification of approximately 50% of the town’s transit fleet.
Providing public transit services with battery operated electric buses will have a significant positive impact on the town’s corporate goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% from 2014 levels by 2050.
Electric buses do not produce harmful exhaust emissions or other greenhouse gases, they are more energy efficient, quieter, provide a smoother experience for passengers and use fewer parts than standard diesel buses, making them a cost-effective and sustainable choice for public transit systems.
“(The) unveiling of Oakville Transit’s first-ever electric buses is an important milestone in advancing council’s efforts to create a thriving and liveable Oakville for today and future generations. Reducing the town’s greenhouse gas emissions and overall environmental footprint, while modernising and expanding our transit services, is critical to the health and wellbeing of our community. Thanks to funding from the town and our federal and provincial partners through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, we’re moving forward to provide innovative and environmentally friendly transit service for Oakville,” said Mayor Rob Burton.
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