image of nova bus on road
Nine transit authorities and one public transit organization in Quebec are banding together to procure up to 1,229 Nova Bus electric buses in a $2.1 billion deal. Photo: Nova Bus

The buy, if fully executed, may be the largest single purchase of electric buses to date in North America and will see a reduction of 930,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions across 10 transit authorities

Ten transit organizations in Quebec are banding together to procure up to 1,229 Nova Bus electric buses for $2.1 billion.

In an announcement yesterday, federal and provincial officials alongside representatives of the transit authorities gave specifics on the blockbuster deal, including the news that Nova Bus had won the contract.

“This is the largest electric bus acquisition project in North America. It is an incredible vote of confidence in the Quebec economy,” said federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, in a press release.

The base order in the deal is 339 LFSe+ model 40-foot, long-range battery electric buses. But there is also an additional option to buy 890 additional vehicles. The value for the base order is $583 million. The bus range is roughly 300 kilometres per full charge.

The transit agencies involved in the deal are:

  • Société de transport de Montréal (STM)
  • Réseau de transport métropolitain (RSM)
  • Société de transport de Laval (STL)
  • Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)
  • Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL)
  • Société de transport de Lévis (STL)
  • Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO)
  • Société de transport de Sherbrooke (STS)
  • Service de Transport en Commun de Trois-Rivières (STTR)
  • Société de transport du Saguenay (STS).

The vehicles are to be built in Nova Bus’s Quebec facilities. They will contain at least 25 per cent made-in-Canada or Canadian-acquired parts and will be delivered between 2025-2027.

Pooling resources

To finance the deal, the federal government is providing $780 million, the Quebec government $1.1 billion, and the transit authorities are responsible for the remaining $234 million.

“Public transit is one of the key elements in the sustainable mobility of people and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With this investment of more than $1.1 billion, the government is responding in order to help achieve a low-carbon Quebec. Ultimately, the entire population of Quebec will be able to benefit from the advantages of these electric buses,” said Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility.

The deal also helps bring the federal and Quebec governments closer to their goals for zero-emission bus adoption. The former has pledged to purchase 5,000 zero-emission buses by 2026, while Quebec’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy reads, “that by 2030, electric buses should account for 55% of all city buses.”

Ramping up for adoption

STM, with an existing fleet of 2,000 buses, will receive half of the base order from Nova Bus.

In March, Electric Autonomy participated in a tour of STM’s Stinson Transport Centre and bus depot. Charging infrastructure and electric buses are piloting and in use there.

How the remaining buses will be divided among the transit authorities has yet to be announced.

Two Nova Bus facilities will be involved in producing the vehicles. Chassis construction will take place in its Saint-François-du-Lac plant, while Nova Bus’s Saint-Eustache facility will be responsible for the final assembly.

“We at Nova Bus feel privileged to accompany public transit agencies in their transition to electrification and congratulate the Quebec government for its leadership in achieving its GHG reduction objectives,” said Ralph Acs, president of Nova Bus.

“This important milestone is a sign that all stakeholders in the transportation sector are working together to fight climate change and we at Nova Bus are proud of our commitment to this historic transition.”

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