Nova Bus welcomed Québec Premier Jean Charest as he announced the launch of an electric bus project. Québec is investing $30 million in an ambitious $73-million public-private partnership that plans to develop electric buses for the international mass-transportation market.
The funding is intended to give the province a leg up over the competition and a chance to become an innovation leader in the burgeoning global electric vehicle industry.
"The development of the electric vehicle industry is a priority for the government of Québec," Charest said in a statement.
A non-profit organization, Consortium Bus Électrique, has been established to lead the three-year projects. The group plans to produce two different sized electric bus models. Of the $30 million being invested by the province, $27 million has been earmarked for the design and manufacture of a 40-ft electric bus to be developed by Nova Bus, Bathium Canada, TM4, Giro, René Matériaux Composites and Précicad. The other $3 million will fund the design and manufacture of a 25-foot aluminum electric micro-bus that will be developed by Infodev, STYL&TECH and Structures CPI.
In a statement, Clément Gignac, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord, said putting more electric buses on the province's roads will help reduce the carbon footprint of Quebecers. "Every dollar" paid to charge up on electricity produced by Hydro-Québec is "a dollar that contributes to the creation of wealth and to our prosperity," he added.
Charest added, "The electric bus will play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and my government is striving to have 95% of public transit electrified by 2030."
The government's 2011-2020 action plan concerning electric vehicles is focused on developing products for the electric vehicle industry so that Québec can become an important player in this new global market.
The government is planning to invest $250 million in coming years to help deploy and promote the use of electric vehicles in the province.