Brampton sets sights on becoming Canada’s first city with fully electric bus fleet


Published May 29, 2023 at 10:52 am

An investment from Ottawa will help Brampton realize its goal of becoming the first Canadian city with a zero-emission transit fleet.

The City announced on Monday (May 29) that it is getting funding from the federal government to plan for the electrification of the entire Brampton Transit system.

The combined $1.1 million from the federal government and the City will support the development of a strategy and rollout plan for transitioning the City’s fleet to zero-emission buses, including cost and saving assessments, fleet and facility requirements, risk analysis, and modeling for bus deployment.

Brampton is aiming to be the first city in Canada with a fully electrified fleet of transit buses, with Mayor Patrick Brown saying he’s “determined” and that the new investment is a key step in delivering on that goal.

“It’s easy to have goals on climate change and how we are going to adapt, but it’s another thing to actually implement those plans so that we honour our aspirations to be a green city,” Brown said during the announcement.

The transition to zero-emission buses in Brampton is expected to cut some 115 tonnes of CO2 emissions per bus every year – that’s approximately 53,000 tonnes every year or the equivalent of removing approximately 12,000 cars from Brampton roads.

The funding will allow the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) to conduct a study that will inform how the City moves forward with the electrification of Brampton Transit. Some $880,000 will come from Ottawa and the City will make up the remaining $220,000.

Because transitioning to a zero-emission transit system is both complex and expensive, CUTRIC President and CEO Josipa Petrunić said Brampton “bit off more than it could chew” when it started on the road to electrifying its fleet.

But through all the challenges, Petrunić says the City and its partners have delivered “one of the most advanced deployments of electric buses in Canada.”

Last April Brampton announced a deal with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) for $400 million to purchase 450 zero-emission buses over the next five years.

Brampton was also one of the first municipalities to use Battery Electric Buses (BEBs) and saw the largest single global deployment of standardized and fully interoperable BEBs.

Brampton was also the first municipality in Ontario to use an electric-powered fire truck in 2022.

The electrification of transit buses is “a critical milestone” in reducing greenhouse gases generated in Brampton by 80 per cent by 2050, the city says.

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