Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium
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Best Practices & Key Considerations for Transit Electrification

Over the past five years, CUTRIC has successfully established itself as a Canadian leader in electric bus technology and research, as well as financial innovation and knowledge. CUTRIC has worked with a number of Canadian transit agencies in preparation for transit electrification. 

Through this experience, our consultants have conducted an immense amount of research that will continue to help agencies make informed decisions about full-fleet electrification and zero-emission transit systems. 

Drawing upon a number of case studies in electric transit applications and deployment projects, here are the best practices and key considerations for implementing transit electrification in Canada. 

Best Practices for Transit Electrification Implementation

The following are best practices in the form of recommendations based on the current status of business plans and strategies related to electrified transportation in the Canadian utility sector: New Flyer Electric Accordion Bus


To ensure long-term ZEB adoption across Canada, there must be support from the federal and provincial governments in the form of grants and new and innovative financial models. When assessing the triple bottom line, long-term financial benefits should also be considered, not just the health and environmental benefits. 


Formalize real-time data-sharing across transit agencies to help jurisdictions find solutions when implementing charging infrastructure. Manufacturers should consider leasing or engine swapping/retrofitting to support ZEB adoption. 


Local utilities should be made aware of plans for transit electrification early on in the planning process. This notice will ensure that local utility resources are available when they’re needed. Operators and maintenance staff should receive formal training, by a third-party or in-house, to ensure a successful transition. 


Feasibility studies should be conducted early on in the planning process. It should be understood that while exchanging experiences is encouraged, there is no one-size fits all solution. A real-time data-sharing platform across all transit agencies is highly encouraged. 


Cities and provinces should establish local emissions targets to act and procure ZEB technologies. There should be a focus on creating an improved, convenient, reliable and pleasurable transit system experience to increase ridership. In turn, revenue from increased ridership can be re-invested into transit technologies and planning. 

To read more about how these recommendations were formed, download our full 2020 report.

Don’t miss our upcoming Low Carbon Smart Mobility and Smart Rail Technology Conference where we will be discussing results of recent zero-emission feaibiity study and roll out plans from across the country.

Understand Canada’s current zero emission bus landscape

Earlier this year, CUTRIC released the Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada’s zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness report. This report quantifies the readiness of transit agencies and municipalities across the country and explores whether Canada’s ZEB targets will be met. 

Find out how far Canada is from meeting target of 5,000 ZEBs by2026 and which transit agencies are committed to transit electrification.

Download report   

Download CUTRIC’s Report 

To gain a deeper understanding of the above recommendations for implementing transit electrification, download CUTRIC’s report on Best Practices and Key Considerations for Transit Electrification and Charging Infrastructure Deployment to Deliver Predictable, Reliable, and Cost-effective Fleet System.

This report summarizes the results gathered from an extensive literature review of various electrification deployments and experiences including service provider insights, charging standards overviews and electric bus deployment data from Canadian agencies as well as globally. 

CUTRIC’s ZEB Consulting Services

CUTRIC’s Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Consulting Services aims at helping transit agencies, utilities and other stakeholders reach their decarbonization and electrification goals. Our approach is backed by science and research. The services our consultants provide include: 

  • Technology feasibility assessments 
  • Full fleet ZEB implementation considering the current status of assets 
  • Identified needs and associated costs 
  • Benefits and risks assessments 
  • Operational data analysis and validation 

To find out more about how we can help, connect with our team. 

See our 10 steps to begin your decarbonization journey.


CUTRIC is a non-profit innovation consortium with a vision to make Canada a global leader in low-carbon smart mobility. As a member, you’ll gain exclusive access to a suite of business and networking opportunities, technical planning events, conferences, and more. Connect with members, join today!