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Pollution investigation team report, Ontario Electric School Bus Strategy.

Pollution Probe report claims Ontario school boards switching to electric school buses will have benefits such as cleaner air, lower greenhouse gas emissions and healthier populations. .

Ontario Electric School Bus StrategyThe book, written by a Toronto-based environmental nonprofit in collaboration with the Canadian Children’s Health and Environment Partnership and environmental consultancy Delphi Group, explains the benefits of electric school buses and how Ontario is adapting the industry. It outlines how you can develop the.

“Given Ontario’s low-carbon electricity grid, we find that electric school buses represent a particularly promising opportunity to address the climate change impacts associated with fossil fuel-based school buses,” said Pollution Probe Transportation Director director Cedric Smith said in an interview. Sustainable Biz Canada.

It’s hard work. Nearly all of Ontario’s 21,000 school buses run on gasoline or diesel, emitting 307,705 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and 203,000 kilograms of nitrogen oxides.

But Ontario is in a position to lead the rollout of electric school buses, and the Pollution Commission says policy could make a big difference in the rate of electric bus adoption.

health and climate

Exhaust from diesel-powered school buses contains nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, which have negative effects on human health. Citing Health Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization, the report states that “diesel exhaust is a human carcinogen” and has effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, immune and reproductive systems. It says that it is related to harm.

“Diesel engines, which still power most school buses, emit harmful air pollutants and pose a serious threat to health and well-being,” Smith said. It said it affects children, bus drivers, school personnel and neighbors, disproportionately impacting marginalized communities.

School buses in Ontario emit more than 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, adding to the global warming problem, a study by the Pollution Control Bureau has found.

Electric school buses could help solve both problems. Does not emit harmful pollutants or greenhouse gases. One calculation cited in the report found that switching to all-electric school buses would provide more than $7.2 million in health benefits each year.

Pollution Probe’s path to electrifying the school bus fleet by 2042 is estimated to save between 545,000 and 1,445,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Bringing big economic opportunities to Ontario

“Electrification of the state’s bus fleet could present significant economic opportunities in areas such as electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, electricity generation and distribution, and provision of charging facilities,” Smith said.

In addition to total investment, Ontario is poised to become an electrical school due to factors such as access to battery minerals, expanded battery recycling capacity, automotive research programs, existing pool of skilled labor, and established distribution channels to North America and the world. We can lead the manufacturing of buses. In billions of dollars.

Ontario is the second largest automobile producing jurisdiction in North America. Ontario is home to battery factories from Stellantis, LG, Umicore and Electrovaya, alongside battery recycling facilities from companies like Li-Cycle and Stelco.

Smith said if Ontario can increase its share of the burgeoning electric vehicle market, the province is well-positioned to benefit from jobs and economic growth.

Policies and prescriptions for electric school buses

To increase the number of electric school buses, Pollution Probe recommends a series of initiatives and government policies.

One is to increase the Ministry of Education’s school transportation budget to launch an electric school bus pilot program in Ontario. Testing to determine the performance of electric school bus vehicles is critical because a key question is the impact of Canadian winters on battery performance.

School bus companies and transit organizations are being asked to launch pilots to study technical and regulatory barriers.

The Ontario government could incorporate electric school bus goals into provincial policies and programs and enact policies to accelerate the retirement of older diesel school buses and replace them with electric models. The report states that maintenance could be subsidized or free.

Electric school buses cost an average of $260,000 more each than diesel buses, but increased manufacturing capacity and economies of scale will reduce initial costs, Smith said.

Barriers to entry could be lowered further through policies such as eliminating PST on new purchases, financing subsidies that can be combined with federal incentives, low-interest financing, and subsidies of up to 50 percent of charging infrastructure costs. There is.

Key to these steps is providing more funding and research, providing education on the benefits of electric school buses, and ensuring data from pilots is shared.

Ontario can learn from example, Smith said. For example, Quebec plans to electrify 65% ​​of its school bus fleet by 2030, spending $250 million on new purchases.

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