York Region Council has given the green light to purchase six battery electric buses, a move that will support the Region’s initiative to research and test an electric bus fleet.

“Investing in electric bus technology allows us to operate more efficiently and moves us closer to York Region’s commitment to producing zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2051,” Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson says in a statement. “There are a number of benefits to this electric bus trial, including a reduction in fuel and maintenance cost and gaining experience and knowledge in the field of electric transit vehicles.”

The purchase of the buses will give York Region practical hands-on experience and allow it to continue participating in the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial lead by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium.

“Electric buses are one of the best options for a transit system as they do not generate greenhouse gas emissions, and with advancing technology, more and more transit agencies in North America are incorporating them into their fleet,” says King Township Mayor Steve Pellegrini, Chair of the Region’s Transportation Services.

Partners include utility agencies, the Town of Newmarket and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution Ltd., bus manufacturers New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg, Man. and Nova Bus of Quebec, and Siemens providing support for electrical charging equipment. The federal government is funding a portion of the charging infrastructure that will need to be installed.

Each bus carries a $1.2 million price tag. Four of the six buses will be from New Flyer and two will be from Nova Bus of Quebec.

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