The new electric fleet will join the island province’s 12 existing LionC school buses, which were acquired last year and began service in early 2021
Just ahead of a new September school year, Prince Edward Island is nearly quadrupling the province’s electric school bus fleet with a new order of 35 LionC school buses from neighbouring Quebec-based OEM, Lion Electric.
The purchase is paid for, in part, jointly by the federal and provincial government with $6.3 million from the Green Infrastructure stream (GIS) of the “Investing in Canada” infrastructure plan. It follows the province’s purchase of 12 Lion electric school buses late last year. In all, the 47 electric buses, once delivered, will make PEI one of the largest operators of an electric school bus fleet in Canada.
“As Islanders, we see the impact of climate change every day and recognize the importance of leading by example,” said Natalie Jameson, the province’s minister of education and lifelong learning and minister responsible for the status of women, as part of the announcement.
“By adding 35 new electric school buses to our existing 12 electric school buses, more students will experience the important steps we are taking as a province to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as we work to become cleaner and more sustainable for future generations.”
Big plans for electrification
PEI has a 332 school-bus fleet and its goal is to transition all of them to electric as part of the Island’s Sustainable Transportation Action Plan, which also specifies city buses will be transitioned to zero-emission.
The first 12 buses have been in service in Charlottetown since early 2021. It was not announced when the next round of 35 buses — to operate in Charlottetown and Summerside — will be delivered, but government officials are targeting the 2021-2022 school year.
Officials estimate the 47 electric school buses will prevent up to 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
In addition, Lion Electric will provide 35 Level 2 chargers to help PEI build out its charging infrastructure network.
“It is great to see Prince Edward Island continuing the momentum to electrify the school bus fleet within the province,” said Marc Bedard, CEO of Lion Electric, in the announcement press release.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the province on sustainable transportation solutions.”