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Study aims to determine requirements for electrification of school buses in parts of Atlantic Canada

A school bus is seen in this undated file photograph. A school bus is seen in this undated file photograph.
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A feasibility study is examining the potential for the electrification of provincially owned school bus fleets in parts of Atlantic Canada.

The federal, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador governments have spent a combined $495,000 on the study, according to a news release from the federal government.

"Transitioning to electric school buses represents a significant step in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and helping integrate environmentally friendly technologies in the transportation sector,” said Sean Fraser, minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

“We will continue working with partners across the country to reduce carbon emissions and advance a more sustainable transportation system."

The goal of the study is to learn the requirements for transitioning up to 2,900 school buses to electric power.

“The study will develop a roadmap that will enhance the provinces' knowledge of zero-emission transportation and provide valuable insights for decisions needed to proceed with the electrification,” reads the release.

“The roadmap will also cover infrastructure requirements, timelines, emissions reduction, long-term cost savings, and ensure that the provinces are prepared for deployments.”

New Brunswick’s minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Bill Hogan, says the province is pleased to participate in the study.

"Exploring sustainable transportation solutions is one step towards a cleaner and greener future for our students and our communities," said Hogan.

The federal government is spending $396,000 on the project through the Zero Emission Transit Fund, while the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training is contributing $99,000.

"Nova Scotia is committed to a clean and healthy province – for current and future generations. In joining the Atlantic Electric School Bus feasibility study, the Province of Nova Scotia is helping to find ways to create safe, zero-emission travel to and from school for our students,” said Nova Scotia’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Becky Druhan.

The government says Prince Edward Island started converting its school bus fleet in 2021.

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