Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium
Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium
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CUTRIC Releases ZEB Database Report #3

CUTRIC Releases ZEB Database Report #3, Predicts Canada will Achieve Goal of 5,000 Zero Emission Buses by 2026

Toronto, ON (December 12, 2023) — The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), a nonprofit organization that spearheads, designs, and launches technology and commercialization projects that aim to make Canada a global leader in low-carbon smart mobility, today releases its third edition of the Canadian ZEB Database™ report focused on Canada’s Zero-Emission Bus Landscape and Transition Readiness. 


In a groundbreaking finding, the ZEB Database Report predicts that the Government of Canada will achieve its goal of introducing 5,000 zero-emission buses (ZEBs) by 2026. 


The latest analysis by CUTRIC found that, as of Oct. 23, 2023, the Canadian ZEB landscape comprises 5,426 ZEBs, including both battery electric buses (BEBs) and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs), at differing stages of transition from municipal and regional pronouncements, through to feasibility studies, funding requests for procurement, actual procurement, commissioning, and in-service deployment — effectively signalling that Canada’s ambitious target is within reach. 


While it will take several years to 2030 to ensure all of these vehicles are deployed on roads, the fact the country has surpassed it’s “promised” target at least two years early is testament to the aggressive and successful nature of the Government of Canada’s serious and generationally transformative commitment to climate action.


“The successful achievement of Canada’s goals for zero-emission buses on the road is not just an environmental imperative; it’s a testament to our commitment to a sustainable future. By meeting these targets, we not only combat climate change but also position Canada as a champion of sustainable technologies, securing a role in the low-carbon economy,” said Dr. Josipa Petrunic, President and CEO of CUTRIC. “The Zero Emission Transit Fund, of which CUTRIC is proud to be the national planning service, has been instrumental in enabling public transit agencies to electrify their fleets. While there is more work to be done, we are proud of the strides Canada made with the support of an environmentally astute government.”


Other Key Findings:


  • Since 2022, when data was last collected, the number of ZEBs in Canada has risen more than threefold (346%), from 1,214 to 5,426.

  • The adoption of battery electric buses (BEBs) and fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) are growing at exponential rates. Currently, BEBs account for 98% of zero-emission buses (ZEBs) either introduced or planned for Canadian roads, marking a growth of 355% since 2022. FCEBs comprise the remaining 2% of zero-emission buses, and saw an increase of 123% from 2022.

  • While BEBs are the most common type of ZEB technology in Canada, their adoption is not evenly distributed. The report found that Ontario has the highest number of BEBs (2,877), followed by Quebec (1,400), Alberta (519), and British Columbia (300). Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island all have less than 100 BEBs each.

ZEBs play an important role in Canada’s commitment to curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and combating climate change. With the transportation sector contributing 25% of the country’s GHG emissions in 2021, the adoption of ZEB technology becomes imperative for sustainable progress. As the National Planning Service for the Government of Canada’s Zero Emission Transit Fund, CUTRIC’s database is designed to offer federal, provincial, and municipal governments, as well as transit agencies and manufacturers, a comprehensive insight into the achievements and obstacles encountered by transit agencies in their electrification initiatives. 


CUTRIC’s next ZEB Database report is scheduled to be released in Q2 of 2024. 


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