Skip to main content

Quebec plugs $18 million into electric school bus subsidies


Quebec is plugging $18 million into electric school buses in Montreal and purchasing 120 e-buses from Lion Electric, the St. Jerome-based electric bus maker.

Minister of Transport and Quebec's minister responsible for the Montreal region Chantal Rouleau announced the plan Tuesday as part of Quebec's "Plan for a Green Economy 2030."

The multinational bus company Autobus Transco (a subsidiary of First Student Canada) will purchase the buses with a $150,000 per bus subsidy.

The government's plan is to electrify 65 per cent of its school buses by 2030.

"It is a concrete step towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions while making the most of our hydroelectricity," said Rouleau. "The transportation sector is responsible for nearly 45 per cent of GHG emissions in Quebec. That is why our government is taking concrete action to accelerate the electrification of transportation."

Quebec announced last year that the government will fund the majority of the $5 billion purchase of electric buses with $3.65 billion of the contract supplemented by the federal government and transport companies.

Andrew Jones owns Autobus Beaconsfield and he is purchasing one electric bus (out of his fleet of 50) from Girardin Blue Bird (in Drummondville, Quebec) instead of Lion.

"Blue Bird Girardin has a proven track record in service, and in their after-service care," he said.

Thomas Built Buses and International Buses also make e-buses.

Jones is excited to swap one of his diesel buses for an e-bus, but also is concerned at supply and cost issues in transitioning 65 per cent of the 8,000 to 10,000 school buses in the province to electric.

An electric bus, Jones said, costs around $330,000 while a diesel bus costs around $100,000.

With the $150,000 subsidy, the cost of an e-bus is still high, and e-buses are limited in terms of the range they can travel before needing a charge.

Jones said he would like to transition as many buses as possible to electric but knows that in order to lessen the burden on school boards and service centres' budgets that pay for their buses, assistance will be needed.

"Moving forward, we hope that the subsidies stay in place," said Jones. "They are needed for the transition to a greener mode of transportation. We want to be a part of the solution." Top Stories

What to know about Super Tuesday and why it matters

It's almost Super Tuesday when voters in 16 states and one territory will cast their ballots in the 2024 presidential primaries. Here's why the day matters — and why it looks a little different this year.

Stay Connected