The city of Edmonton in the Canadian province of Alberta is currently considering the purchase of 25 to 40 new electric buses for $30.6 million (with unit number varying depending on final unit purchase prices).
The new electric buses would be purchased using funds that otherwise would have been used for the purchase of 49 diesel buses — meaning that there would be fewer buses purchased, but the purchased buses (electrics) would have lower operational costs and would require less time off for maintenance.
The city council in Edmonton will reportedly be deciding upon the idea on Tuesday.
“We’re breaking a new trail here,” commented Ward 6 Councillor Scott McKeen. “So, the bus company should reward Edmonton with good prices.”
The councillor also noted that he thought higher levels of government should be working to aid projects such as the electric bus purchase under consideration.
“In an Alberta context, it’s probably something the Notley government should proclaim when they’re talking about pipelines,” he stated. “There’s a lot of good things happening in Alberta.”
Metro News provides more: “The city says the delivery of electric buses would align with the opening of the new northeast transit garage, a $186-million project set to be complete by late 2018. Prior to the recommendation, a field test and an independent analysis on the buses concluded they are feasible and affordable. The city anticipates the fleet will mean a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its fleet by 38% to 44%. The buses will be ‘free floating,’ rather than being physically connected to overhead electrical wires.”
“I don’t think there’s a huge risk here,” Scott McKeen continued. “I’m quite excited about the fact we’re leading North America on this purchase. This is another feather in Edmonton’s cap and I think Edmontonians should be very proud about that.”
Of note is that there seems to be broad support amongst those living in Edmonton for the purchase of electric buses. A recent city survey found that 78% of public transit riders surveyed were in favor of the purchase of electric buses; 18% were undecided; and only 4% were opposed.