CUTRIC Canadian ZEB Database ™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness

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Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness May 2022

Knowledge Series Quarterly Report #1

AUTHORS Titash Choudhury, Social Scientist Low Carbon Smart Mobility Aniket Basu, Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Simulation Modeller Parvathy Pillai, Program Manager: ZEB Consulting Services and Business Dr. J o si p a P et r un i ć, P re si d en t & C E O

2 COPYRIGHT © 2022 Information in this document is to be considered the intellectual property of the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) in accordance with Canadian copyright law. The material in it reflects CUTRIC’s best judgment, considering the information available to it at the time of preparation. Any use that a third party makes of this report, or any reliance on or decisions to be made based on it, are the responsibility of such third parties. CUTRIC accepts no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any third party as a result of decisions made or actions based on this report.

Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) Knowledge Series 18 King Street East, Suite 1400 Toronto, ON M5C 1C4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Table of Contents _____________________________________________________ 3 List of figures ________________________________________________________ 4 List of acronyms ______________________________________________________ 5 Acknowledgements____________________________________________________ 6 Executive summary ___________________________________________________ 7 Résumé ____________________________________________________________ 8 1. Background________________________________________________________ 9 2. Goal ____________________________________________________________ 11 3. Objectives ________________________________________________________ 11 4. Database design and development ____________________________________ 11 4.1 Data _________________________________________________________________ 12 4.2 Rollup sheet ___________________________________________________________ 13 4.3 Analytics dashboard _____________________________________________________ 13 4.4 Assumptions ___________________________________________________________ 13 5. Data analysis _____________________________________________________ 15 5.1 Current status of BEBs ___________________________________________________ 17 5.2 Current status of FCEBs __________________________________________________ 19 5.3. CNG TO RNG (R-CNGs) buses ______________________________________________ 21 5.4. Charging infrastructure __________________________________________________ 23 6. Trends in transit electrification ________________________________________ 24 7. Canadian ZEB Database™ data collection challenges _____________________ 26 8. Next steps ________________________________________________________ 26 9. Conclusion _______________________________________________________ 27 References _________________________________________________________ 28 Appendix I __________________________________________________________ 30 Appendix II _________________________________________________________ 31

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: CUTRIC ZEB Rollout Process Map


Figure 2: Three main components of the database


Figure 3: Stages of electrification


Figure 4: ZEB current status (2022)


Figure 5: BEB by stage


Figure 6: BEB by manufacturer and length


Figure 7: BEBs by province


Figure 8: FCEBs by manufacturer and length of the bus


Figure 9: FCEB buses by province


Figure 10: CNG by Stage


Figure 11: CNG by manufacturer and bus length


Figure 12: CNG buses by province


Figure 13: Charger type for ZEBs


Figure 14: BEB, FCEB and CNG future trends


Figure 15: BEB and FCEB future trends


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Autonomous vehicle


Battery electric bus


Compressed natural gas


Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium


Electric low-speed autonomous shuttle


Electric vehicle


Fuel cell electric bus


Greenhouse gas


Hydrogen fuel cell


Natural Resources Canada


Renewable compressed natural gas


Renewable natural gas


Toronto Transit Commission


York Region Transit


Zero-emission bus


Zero Emission Transit Fund

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6 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CUTRIC would like to thank all the transit agencies who participated in the Canadian ZEB Database™ survey.

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7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness is a part of CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series. This report scans, analyzes and characterizes the Canadian zero-emission bus (ZEB) landscape. To establish the overall readiness of provinces and municipalities in decarbonizing their fleets, the report uses data directly provided by transit agencies and from the public domain. CUTRlC has built over the last six months as it has sought to summarize and report on ZEB data categorized by the following technologies: •

Battery electric buses (BEB) are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable on-board battery packages.

Fuel cell electric buses (FCEB) require a hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) to charge an on-board battery, powered by an on-board electric motor.

Compressed natural gas buses (CNG) are fueled with renewable natural gas (RNG) using refined or upgraded anaerobically-generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels.

Electric low-speed autonomous shuttle (e-LSA) is an emerging class of shared mobility for first-kilometre/last-kilometre application in local municipal systems.

In-depot and on-route charging infrastructure support the operation of electric buses.

Based on the Canadian ZEB Database™, this report highlights the current status of each ZEB technology up to May 2022 in Canada, and forecasts technology adoption to determine whether transit agencies and municipalities will meet Canada’s ZEB targets. Finally, the Knowledge Series outlines the challenges and limitations of the Canadian ZEB Database™, along with next steps.

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8 RÉSUMÉ Le rapport Canadian ZEB Database : Le contexte canadien des autobus à zéro émission et l’état de préparation du Canada à l’électrification fait partie de la Knowledge Series du CRITUC. Ce rapport scrute, analyse et caractérise le paysage canadien des autobus à zéro émission (AZE). Pour déterminer le degré de préparation global des provinces et des municipalités en ce qui a trait à la décarbonisation de leurs flottes, le rapport utilise des données fournies directement par les organismes de transport en commun ainsi que des données provenant du domaine public. TM

Au cours des six derniers mois, le CRITUC a cherché à résumer et à communiquer les données sur les AZE en fonction des technologies suivantes : •

Autobus électriques à batterie propulsés par l’électricité emmagasinée dans des batteries embarquées rechargeables.

Autobus électriques à pile à combustible nécessitant une pile à combustible à hydrogène pour charger une batterie embarquée servant à alimenter le moteur électrique du véhicule.

Autobus au gaz naturel comprimé alimentés au gaz naturel comprimé renouvelable (gaz raffiné ou biogaz anaérobie valorisé) qui remplace les carburants fossiles classiques.

Navettes électriques autonomes à basse vitesse, un nouveau type de véhicule pour la mobilité partagée utilisé pour parcourir le premier ou le dernier kilomètre dans un système de transport urbain.

Infrastructure de recharge en dépôt et sur route, soutenant l’exploitation des autobus électriques.

Basé sur la Canadian ZEB Database , ce rapport met en évidence l’état actuel de chaque TM

technologie liée aux autobus à zéro émission jusqu’en mai 2022 au Canada et établit des prévisions d’adoption des technologies afin de déterminer si les organismes de transport en commun et les municipalités atteindront les objectifs en matière d’AZE pour le Canada. Enfin, la Knowledge Series définit les défis et les limitations de la Canadian ZEB Database™, ainsi que les prochaines étapes.

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9 1. BACKGROUND The Canadian ZEB Database™ serves as a prototypical national data trust that monitors the Canadian ZEB landscape and quantifies the overall electrification readiness of transit agencies and the provinces in which they operate. This section describes CUTRIC’s work prior to developing the Canadian ZEB Database™. It summarizes the steps CUTRIC has taken to help transit agencies align with the Government of Canada’s vision to help school boards and municipalities purchase 5,000 zero-emission school and transit buses over the next five years [1]. ZEB technology is gaining traction in Canada for a number of reasons – the most important of which is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector [2]. ZEB technology also contributes to a better public transit system by supporting cleaner in-cabin air quality, reduced noise pollution and, potentially, more affordable transit over the long-term [3]. The transportation sector in Canada accounts for 25 per cent of Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions [4]. Canada generates roughly 82 per cent of its electricity from zero-emission power sources. Therefore, the adoption of ZEB technology presents a significant opportunity to decarbonize transportation from the “well to wheel” perspective. In October 2020, Infrastructure Canada announced C$1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zeroemission buses (ZEBs) and charging infrastructure [5]. Soon after the federal government announced plans to spend another C$14.9 billion on public transportation projects over the next eight years. In March 2021, the Government of Canada invested an additional $2.75 billion in funding to deliver on its commitment to help purchase 5,000 ZEBs over the next five years. This funding supports public transit and school boards and allows regional, municipal and school bus fleets to electrify their fleets while creating Canadian jobs in the zero-emission manufacturing sector [6]. Navigating local, provincial, and federal policies and funding programs while also adopting new bus technologies can be challenging for even large and sophisticated public fleet operators. Each transit agency is unique which makes its electrification plan equally unique. To support the process of transit electrification, CUTRIC published a national ZEB Rollout Process Map [3] in July 2021. This Process Map consists of nine fundamental steps that a transit agency must take when planning a full fleet transition from fossil fuel to zero-emission transportation solutions. The goal of the ZEB Rollout Process Map is to remove some of the barriers transit agencies face when planning the deployment of ZEBs. This guidance document provides Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) with a financial cost estimate of a minimum C$3 billion per year to fund the full electrification of transit across the country based on estimated costs associated with electrified buses, charging infrastructure and garage upgrades [7].

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Figure 1: CUTRIC ZEB Rollout Process Map Over the past five years, CUTRIC has also hosted a series of focus groups composed of transit agencies and manufacturers, including bus and charger manufacturers that are early adopters of ZEB technologies, to share their experiences, concerns and recommendations for transit agencies that have yet to begin the electrification journey. In 2021, CUTRIC initiated a monthly national ZEB Committee to formalize these group dialogues and to bring together transit agencies, manufacturers, utilities and power providers that can share valuable knowledge about transit fleet electrification. As part of its ZEB Committee, CUTRIC has designed and launched the first Canadian ZEB Database™. This database provides a list of Canadian transit agency electrification plans consolidated into a single national database along with quantitative tracking figures that represent both the status and type of vehicle, charger and (hydrogen) fuelling system adoption across Canada. The purpose of this database is to provide the federal government with a better understanding of the successes and challenges transit agencies face in their electrification efforts.

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11 2. GOAL The goal of this quarterly report is to offer a standardized national scan, analysis and characterization of the Canadian ZEB landscape. This report highlights the overall readiness of provinces and municipalities in electrifying their transit fleets. The Canadian ZEB Database™ features accurate information detailing the current state of ZEBs, allied infrastructure deployments and future trends in Canada. The benefit of the database is to provide an overview of what is happening nation-wide in terms of ZEB planning, purchases and deployments across Canada. This information provides transit agencies and the Government of Canada with a tool to assess how far the country is from achieving its target of 5,000 ZEBs over the next five years. CUTRIC will issue quarterly reports with updated figures comparing national transit agency progress in ZEB procurement, adoption and deployment to the government’s target. CUTRIC will use this information to provide recommendations to help transit agencies, municipalities and school boards purchase 5,000 ZEBs over the next five years.

3. OBJECTIVES The following objectives characterize this report: 1. Methodological robustness that enables the creation of an accurate Canadian ZEB Database™ for use by public policy makers, fleet managers and municipalities/regionalities. 2. Aggregated and comprehensive data obtained directly from transit agencies and the public domain. 3. Quantification and qualification of the different types of ZEBs deployed across Canada at varying stages of the transit electrification process. 4. Identification of challenges and lessons learned in the procurement, adoption and deployment of ZEBs that help guide public transit agencies that are just now starting their ZEB procurement journey.

4. DATABASE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT This section summarizes the methodology used by CUTRIC to create and manage the Canadian ZEB Database™ and its allied analytics dashboard. The database consists of four components: 1. Data (raw) 2. Rollup sheet 3. Analytics dashboard 4. Assumptions log Figure 2 shows the first three components of the Canadian ZEB Database™. These first three components are dependent on one another as raw data feeds into the rollup sheet which informs the analytics dashboard. Section 4.4 summarizes the assumptions used while building the database.

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Figure 2: Three main components of the database

4.1 Data The Canadian ZEB Database™ is composed of two types of data in Smartsheet™: A back-end data Smartsheet™ and survey data Smartsheet™. ZEB back-end data CUTRIC utilizes the cloud-based software known as Smartsheet™ to store all data regardless of the originating source. Data are collected from three main sources: (1) CUTRIC transit agency-focused survey data (i.e., the Canadian ZEB Database Survey). (2) CUTRIC’s Meltwater™ news database, which documents press releases and news stories allied to funding announcements for ZEB infrastructure and ZEB deployments across Canada. (3) Transit agency websites. ZEB survey data CUTRIC sends surveys to transit agencies to obtain direct data inputs related to the database. The Canadian ZEB Database™ Survey is issued to transit agencies three times per year. Every time a stakeholder completes the survey, the Smartsheet™ database is automatically populated. The data collected from the Canadian ZEB Database™ Survey (See Appendix II) includes current and future announcements, funding, pronouncements, feasibility studies, procurements and on-road service status updates for ZEBs. The survey also collects information about battery electric buses (BEBs), fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs), electric low-speed autonomous shuttle (e-LSAs), compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and their allied infrastructure information. CUTRIC released the Canadian ZEB Database™ Survey in two phases: •

Phase one of the survey was released in November 2021 and was shared with CUTRIC’s member transit agencies.

Phase two was rolled out in April of 2022.

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13 Consequently, most of the data that is reflected in this report is based on data collected from CUTRIC-member transit agencies directly. Data entered into CUTRIC’s server via the survey automatically informs the rollup sheet (see 4.2 below). Following the data ontology 1 outlined below (See Appendix I), data are thoroughly reviewed and updated on a bi-weekly basis. The cloud-based Smartsheet™ tool also tracks outbound and inbound correspondence with transit agencies, and converts raw data from various sources into the final database.

4.2 Rollup sheet “Rollup” is a term used to describe the analysis or aggregation of data in a database. CUTRIC has designed a rollup sheet made up of formulae, column headings, filters and sections for the purposes of its ZEB Database™. A rollup sheet is especially useful for the standardization of CUTRIC’s data management. Managing and updating large amounts of raw data from a cloud-based Smartsheet™ is time-consuming and prone to human error. The tables in the rollup sheet are created to automatically arrange the information in a standardized and simple layout that draws attention to key values.

4.3 Analytics dashboard The analytics dashboard used in the ZEB Database offers a visual representation of all the data captured. It is informed by the rollup Smartsheet™. CUTRIC has built a mechanism whereby the complete rollup Smartsheet™ is dynamically linked to the Canadian ZEB Database™. More precisely, a back-end data Smartsheet™ that captures all survey and other manual input data feeds into chart widgets on the analytics dashboard to visually represent data in user friendly forms. This dynamic link makes extensive use of the SUMIFS formula [8], which sums a range of cells that meet at least two criteria.

4.4 Assumptions The following assumptions underpin the database. I. Types of zero-emission buses: ●

BEBs are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable on-board battery packages.

FCEBs require a hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) to charge an on-board battery, which powers an onboard electric motor.

CNG buses fueled with renewable natural gas (R-CNGs) use refined or upgraded anaerobically-generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels.

Autonomous shuttles (e-LSAs) are an emergent class of shared mobility for first-kilometre/lastkilometre applications in local municipal systems.

II. Stages of transit electrification:

Data ontology includes the representation, formal naming and definition of the categories, properties and relationships between data sources in order to create knowledge.


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Figure 3: Stages of electrification Figure 3 shows the six stages of transit electrification. Stage 1.

Pronouncement: Public statement of intent by an elected official or city council

Stage 2.

Feasibility and modelling: Commitment to predictively assess partial or full-fleet ZEB applications in terms of energy consumption, cost, performance and/or success

Stage 3.

Funding and financing: City or regional commitment to funding

Stage 4.

Procurement: Contractual obligation to purchase

Stage 5.

Commissioning: Deployed pre-service testing for safety

Stage 6.

In-service deployment: Commencement with revenue service

III. Infrastructure: (1) In-depot and on-route charging stations (2) Location of charging stations, such as a garage depot or on-route (3) Number of charging stations (count) (4) Charging rate at a charging station in kW (5) Type of charging, whether series or parallel IV. Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE): (1) Number of cabinets (count) (2) Number of dispensers (count) (dispensers connect cabinets to charging hardware and function as a control device) (3) Type of charging hardware (pantograph or plug-in) (4) Manufacturer(s) of equipment in (1) to (3) IV. Data inclusion criteria: (1) Transit agency or municipal/regional website (2) Approved council meeting minutes, reports, resolutions and strategies CUTRIC-CRITUC Knowledge Series Volume 3, No. 1

15 (3) Transit agency interviews and/or direct outreach, by phone, video or e-mail (4) Press release via Meltwater™ (5) Focus groups hosted by CUTRIC, including focus groups held at the CUTRIC membersonly ZEB Committee and CUTRIC Members Meetings (6) Surveys (7) Other (e.g., public policy documents issued by funding bodies) (8) CUTRIC in-house reports, policy briefers and white papers V. Items included: ●

Modes or platform type: bus and electric trolley

Types of ZEBs: BEBs, FCEBs, CNGs, e-LSAs, specialized transit services/platforms and associated infrastructure assets

Operational standards for EVSE: OppCharge™, J3105, J1772, etc.

Fleet owner or operator: transit agency or municipal/regional fleet (inclusive of school bus fleets)

Stage of transit electrification: pronouncement, feasibility and modelling, funding and financing, procurement, commissioning, in-service deployment

Geography: Canada Other data as required to define quantitative and qualitative measures of electrified assets (e.g., number, type, length, etc.)

VI. Items currently not included: ●

Rail and other non-bus modes

Intercity express (ICE) buses with gasoline or diesel, including hybrid diesel-electric buses, and associated infrastructure assets

Private fleets or private interests

Pilot projects that are short-term and non-procured

Non-Canadian jurisdictions

Other data not essential to characterize the quantity and quality of transit electrification, such as performance data, weather and operating conditions, ridership numbers, revenue, political context and policy landscape

5. DATA ANALYSIS Canada has over 150 transit agencies of which CUTRIC’s current data pool consists of 96. Larger transit agencies have provided data for smaller agencies with whom they partner. For example, BC Transit works in partnership with the City of Nelson, City of Powell River and Sunshine Coast Regional District. For this quarterly report, CUTRIC has successfully collected data from 43 transit agencies across Canada. Data were collected between November 1, 2021 and April 26, 2022. During this period, 22 CUTRIC-CRITUC Knowledge Series Volume 3, No. 1

16 transit agencies provided data by participating in CUTRIC’s Canadian ZEB Database™ Survey. The data for the remaining 21 transit agencies were collected from the public domain using Google search, Meltwater™, and transit agency websites. The aim is to collect and update the Canadian ZEB Database™ on a continual basis reporting updates via quarterly reports. Any survey response and data collected after April 26, 2022 is not reflected in this report. The results presented in this report provide current and future electrification plans until December 2022. Any plans for electrification from January 2023 onward are not reflected in this report. Any changes or updates between April 2022 and July 2022 will be reflected in a subsequent quarterly report. Current status of ZEBs in Canada According to data collected by CUTRIC, BEBs make up 55 per cent of all current national transit electrification plans. Figure 4 displays the current status of ZEBs in Canada up until 2022. It shows that 943 BEBs have been introduced in Canada. These buses are in various stages of adoption. Some are in the planning stage, some are in the funding stage and some are already in service with riders onboard. Additionally, 708 CNG buses are in various stages of deployment making up 42 per cent of all buses in transition to a lower carbon mode by the end of 2022. CNG buses have been part of public transit procurement processes for several years now seen as a cheaper and less carbon intensive form of fossil fuel compared to diesel equivalents. If these buses were to be powered with RNG, they can become cleaner, cheaper and contribute to zero-emission targets better than their CNG or diesel comparative models. This technology is explained in more detail in section 5.3. Lastly, 45 FCEB buses are planned to be introduced in Canada by the end of 2022 making up three per cent of total zero-emission fleets. CUTRIC has not received or documented any current e-LSA vehicle plans. The next section provides explanations for each ZEB technology and their current standing in the Canadian landscape. CUTRIC further explains the advantages and disadvantages that each option presents and reviews the criticality of these technologies for transit agencies when planning their electrification strategy.

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17 Figure 4: ZEB current status (2022)

5.1 Current status of BEBs The transition to BEBs presents a viable option for transit electrification as BEBs are powered by electricity that is stored in rechargeable on-board battery packages. BEBs provide operational

Figure 5: BEB by stage savings and environmental benefits by using clean energy sources such as hydro, wind or solar, all of which present a low carbon intensity [9]. They also eliminate direct emissions from the tailpipe which contributes to higher quality of local air. Depending on the power grid at play, BEBs can be less expensive and require less maintenance compared to their diesel-powered counterparts [10]. However, BEBs can contribute to global GHG emissions based on the source of electricity used. In general, transit agencies find BEBs an attractive technology for electrification. Data collected from 43 transit agencies show that currently there are 943 BEBs in various stages of electrification in Canada. Figure 5 displays BEBs by their varying stages of electrification (refer to figure 3). As of April 2022, 505 buses are in a funding stage of procurement, 206 buses are already in service and 82 transit agencies have pronounced they will be acquiring more BEBs by the end of 2022. In addition, 60 BEBs are undergoing feasibility studies in various parts of Canada, 61 BEBs are in procurement mode, and another 29 BEBs have been commissioned with riders onboard. Based on the data collected by CUTRIC, 14 BEBs will be piloted in Alberta by the end of 2022 [11].

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Figure 6: BEB by manufacturer and length Figure 6 shows that as of April 2022, New flyer is the largest supplier of BEBs in Canada with 90 buses, followed by that Proterra with 88 buses, Nova Bus with 29 buses and BYD and Vicinity with 22 buses and 14 buses, respectively. Figure 6. also shows that the largest BEB fleets in Canada are composed of 40 ft buses followed by 60-ft, 28-ft, 30-ft and 35-ft, respectively. Figure 7 exhibits the provincial distribution of the current transition to BEBs in Canada. As of 2022, Ontario has 61 per cent of all BEBs in Canada, a result of significant BEB implementations at Canada’s large transit agency – the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). However, Quebec’s recent announcement to acquire over 1200 BEBs between 2024 to 2026 will alter the BEB landscape and distribution nationally in coming months [12].

Figure 7: BEBs by province

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19 Challenges of BEBs Transit agencies have identified several drawbacks to BEBs as part of the adoption cycle associated with the technology. •

High capital costs: a BEB with a battery capacity of 400 kWh can cost between C$1 million and C$1.2 million, approximately double the price of a diesel-powered vehicle [2]. Currently, batteries represent a significant portion of BEB costs. More affordable batteries are needed to make BEBs competitive with diesel buses [20]

Additional infrastructural costs: the chargers required to successfully electrify a given fleet can add substantial capital costs.

Scheduling and energy costs: the duration of charging and the total draw of power from the grid (along with associated electricity costs and demand chargers) pose challenges when large numbers of BEBs are engaged in low-power in-depot charging. Depending on garage operations and capacity, fewer but more powerful chargers may be a viable alternative if distributed on route and leveraged throughout the day to accommodate scheduling constraints, though these solutions rarely result in cheaper energy prices. [13]

Real estate: chargers on-route present real estate requirements and incur installation costs.

5.2 Current status of FCEBs Alternatively, FCEBs are a viable option for many transit agencies. In this section, CUTRIC highlights current electrification plans among transit agencies that are undertaking FCEB technology FCEBs consume hydrogen and emit clean water vapour from their tailpipes. As the fuel-cell module consumes hydrogen, it generates the electricity used to charge on-board batteries that power the electric motor. Although hydrogen can be generated using several methods, the full environmental benefits of the implementation of FCEBs are obtained using electrolytic (“green”) hydrogen in regions where electricity is generated from clean sources, such as hydro, wind or solar. CUTRIC has identified 43 FCEBs that are in the funding stage for the year 2022. Based on the data collected by CUTRIC, two FCEBs are currently in pilot stage in Alberta and show a promising future as Alberta has planned to incorporate hydrogen in Alberta’s current portfolio of energy system [14]. Figure 8 shows that all of the FCEBs are made by New Flyer and most are 40-foot buses.

Figure 8: FCEBs by manufacturer and length of the bus CUTRIC-CRITUC Knowledge Series Volume 3, No. 1

20 Figure 9 shows that, as of April 2022, all pronounced or procured FCEBs are in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. Manitoba represents 73 per cent of FCEB commitments in Canada.

Figure 9: FCEB buses by province Challenges of FCEBs Despite the advantages of FCEBs, CUTRIC’s ZEB Rollout Process Map [3] shows that FCEBs pose some challenges when compared to BEBs in several applications. •

Cost profile: FCEBs are more expensive than BEBs, costing from C$1.2 million to C$1.7 million [15].

Lack of a localized hydrogen supply chain: the lack of a supply chain for fuel can cause the hydrogen price to be higher than that of diesel and CNG.

Operations and maintenance: operations and maintenance costs for FCEBs can be more challenging than BEBs because of the extra components the vehicles require, such as a fuelcell, fuel tank and related fuel supplies [16].

Lack of best practices: currently there are no Canadian best practices or transit guidance documents for transit agencies keen to take the initial risk to adopt this new technology.

FCEBs are gaining traction as decarbonized technologies, as additional federal and provincial funding becomes available, and more transit agencies build knowledge about them. For provinces that already have existing infrastructure, FCEBs are recognized as a sustainable option over BEBs.

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21 5.3. CNG TO RNG (R-CNGs) buses CNG buses that use RNG in their fueling supply chain (known as “R-CNG buses”) are a less explored option as part of the decarbonization solution for Canada. In some cases, R-CNG buses can be cleaner and cheaper to operate than BEBs or FCEBs [17]. R-CNG buses use refined or upgraded anaerobically-generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels. This technology is gaining traction globally given the pressing need to dramatically reduce GHG emissions, while maintaining operational costs comparable to diesel and CNG.

Figure 10: CNG by Stage CUTRIC’s 2022 report, Renewable Natural Gas as a Complementary Solution to Decarbonizing Transit [17], shows that RNG can be directly injected into CNG pipelines, leveraging already installed refueling infrastructure. Moreover, the introduction of R-CNG into a fleet does not require massive technological or operational shifts, because the CNG buses are an established technology. Therefore, CUTRIC has included CNG buses in its database as a complementary solution towards the ZEB transition. Figure 10 shows that at least 606 CNG buses are currently in service in Canada. It is important to note that this number represents data collected from 45 per cent of the nation’s transit agencies. As CNG is a traditional technology, it is likely that there are more than 606 buses in service across Canada. Our data also shows that 92 new CNG buses were announced in 2022. CUTRIC does not yet have data demonstrating how many transit agencies are planning to transition from CNG TO RNG (R-CNG) in the next five years.

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Figure 11: CNG by manufacturer and bus length Figure 11 shows that New Flyer is the largest manufacturer of CNG buses in Canada, followed by Nova Bus and Vicinity respectively. Figure 11 also shows that the largest number of CNG buses in Canada are 40-ft long, followed by 30-ft and 60-ft buses, respectively. BC represents 66 per cent of CNG buses in Canada.

Figure 12: CNG buses by province

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23 Figure 12 shows, British Columbia has the largest fleet of CNG buses, followed by Alberta and Ontario, respectively. British Columbia represents 66 per cent of CNG buses in Canada. Challenges of R-CNG buses Even though CNGs powered with RNG may be deemed a low emissions option in comparison to diesel equivalents, there are drawbacks for transit agencies when adopting this technology. •

Operating costs: the operating costs of these buses may be higher than the operational costs of BEB counterparts.

Supply chain constraints: transit agencies may experience RNG supply chain problems, depending on the jurisdiction they are in, due to variable supplies nationally.

Lack of funding to offset procurement costs: currently, there is a lack of funding support from federal and provincial governments for CNG and R-CNG technology. For example, R-CNG and CNG buses do not qualify for the federal Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF), which is investing $2.75 billion for public transit and school bus operators that are electrifying their fleets.

5.4. Charging infrastructure Transit agencies need to explore charging infrastructure as a core component of the decarbonization solution if and when the ZEB technology selected is battery electrified primarily. There is a wide range of options and possible configurations available for charging infrastructure to transit agencies. Determining the operational range of a ZEB is not just a matter of battery size or capacity. It is also a product of the transit agency’s charging strategy, charging schedule and local charging conditions. The federal ZETF provides funding to upgrade charging infrastructure and refurbish garages [1]. CUTRIC has started to collect infrastructure data for its Canadian ZEB Database™. Because of a lack of charging infrastructure data in the public domain, CUTRIC relies primarily on transit agency survey data for this portion of the database.

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24 Based on these surveys, Figure 13 shows that 16 per cent of the chargers in Canada include lowerpowered plug-in and eight per cent are pantograph chargers, which constitute higher powered

Figure 13: Charger type for ZEBs overhead charger technologies for BEBs. Note, these numbers are not representative of all transit agencies in Canada, as only 25 per cent of the 96 transit agencies included in the survey submitted charger type data and 77 per cent of the charger type data are unknown by the survey respondents.

6. TRENDS IN TRANSIT ELECTRIFICATION One of the goals of CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series journal publication is to produce quarterly reports that will be incrementally updated and compared with Canada’s ZEB target set by the Government of Canada. At present, the government’s target is to introduce 5,000 ZEBs by the end of 2026. The number of ZEBs in Canada is expected to grow in 2022 and beyond. Figure 14 shows the number of ZEBs increasing year over year across Canada, based on data CUTRIC has collected with regards to ZEB commitments and pronouncements nation-wide. On the current trajectory of adoption, it does not appear that transit agencies will meet Canada’s target of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026. The forecast for 2026 based on current data is 3246 buses. Over 2022, new data and accelerated ZEB planning may increase the number of ZEBs committed by municipalities and regions, although it is still unclear whether the 5,000 targets will be achieved.

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Figure 14: BEB, FCEB and CNG future trends

Figure 14 includes CNG technology. CNG buses when converted to R-CNG buses use refined or upgraded anaerobically-generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels. This dramatically reduces GHG emissions, while maintaining operational costs comparable to diesel and CNG. However, it is not recognized in Infrastructure Canada’s ZEB funding requirements and would not be counted as part of the federal target of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026 [4]. Figure 15 shows the future trends for BEBs and FCEBs only. The resulting graph shows relatively slow growth. It is clear that transit agencies need to expedite their transition to ZEBs if they hope to meet Canada’s collective target of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026. Some Canadian municipalities are showing promising signs towards drastic fleet electrification. As mentioned in section 5.1, the Quebec government is providing funding to nine of the province’s transit agencies — Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Saguenay, Lévis, Quebec City and the Outaouais — to purchase a total of 1,200 electric buses, between 2024 and 2026 [12]. B.C government recently announced $2.4 billion towards transit electrification [18] and many smaller transit agencies are working closely with other larger agencies to reach the ambitious goal of 5000 ZEBs by 2026.

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Figure 15: BEB and FCEB future trends

7. CANADIAN ZEB DATABASE™ DATA COLLECTION CHALLENGES A few challenges of the Canadian ZEB Database™ data collection are listed below. Data are collected in two phases. •

Phase 1 data are collected from CUTRIC member transit agencies. This process is simple as CUTRIC has existing relationships and trust with member transit agencies.

In Phase 2, CUTRIC collects data from non-member transit agencies. This process is time consuming as it requires relationship building and the establishment of trust before transit agencies share sensitive data with CUTRIC.

CUTRIC faced difficulty in collecting comprehensive charging infrastructure data as it is unavailable in the public domain and only becomes available when transit agencies are at a later stage of ZEB transition and have moved beyond initial pilot programs.

8. NEXT STEPS Going forward, CUTRIC aims to collect 100 per cent of member transit agency data, and at least 60 per cent of non-member transit agency data before its next reporting period to provide a more accurate representation of the current status of transit electrification. CUTRIC has already started the next phase of data collection. CUTRIC sent the Canadian ZEB Database™ survey to non-member transit agencies in April 2022, many of which have shown interest in participating in the survey.

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27 Additional data collection parameters will be added to the Canadian ZEB Database™. These parameters include the number of jobs created within the transit electrification sector, the number of kilometres travelled by in-service ZEBs, and the number of transit agencies planning to transition from CNG TO RNG (R-CNG) over the next five years. CUTRIC aims to constantly refine, improve and update the data collection process iteratively.

9. CONCLUSION This Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada’s zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness report, published within CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series journal publication, characterizes the public record of Canadian ZEBs. The Canadian ZEB Database™ is designed to support transit agencies, municipalities and school boards in tracking their efforts, and to help governments and other decisionmakers generate comparisons and perform trend analyses between their jurisdictions to assess the effect of relevant public policies (i.e., funding policies). This report contains information such as the stages of electrification, province-wide vehicle inventories, allied infrastructure quantifiers and manufacturing type of the vehicles and charging systems. The primary objective of the next iteration of this report is to mature and develop the existing database and to update stakeholders regularly. It is critical for CUTRIC to demonstrate the data reflected in this document has been collected in a comprehensive, reliable and timely manner. CUTRIC continues to complete a series of validation efforts internally to ensure the accuracy of information represented and shared within these quarterly reports. CUTRIC’s data analysis shows that while trends demonstrate growth in BEBs and FCEBs year over year, that growth is relatively slow. Transit agencies will need a considerable amount of planning and support to escalate the process if they aim to meet Canada’s target. With the right planning, collaboration and technology deployments, transit agencies can still reach Canada’s target of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026.

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M. Wanek-Libman. "Government of Canada launches its zero-emission bus fund." Mass Transit. vernment-of-canada-launches-its-zeroemission-bus-fund (accessed 2021).


J. Petrunic, E. Abotalebi, and A. Raj, "Best Practices and Key Considerations for Transit Electrification and Charging Infrastructure Deployment to Deliver Predictable, Reliable, and Cost-Effective Fleet Systems," Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium., 2020. [Online]. Available: sit-Electrification-and-Charging-Infrastructure-Deployment-to-Deliver-Predictable_-Reliable_-and-Co st-Effective-Fleet-Systems.pdf


L. Meredith and P. Amy, "Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan Guidance for Transit Agencies," January 9, 2020.


G. o. Canada, "Zero Emission Transition Fund," 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.infrastru pdf


Emma Jaratt. "Federal government announces $1.5-billion for zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure." Electric Autonomy,. (accessed: 6 October 2020).


I. Canada. "Government of Canada investing to electrify transit systems across the country." -across-the-country-895599052.html (accessed: 08 March 2021).


Mia Rabson. "Transit lobby group says electrifying Canada's bus fleets needs $3 billion a year." Vancouver Sun. adas-bus-fleets-needs-3-billion-a-year.html (accessed: January 27, 2021).


Smartsheet. "SUMIFS Function." (accessed).


Environment and Climate Change Canada, "National Inventory Report 1990-2019: Greenhouse Gas Sources And Sinks in Canada - part 3," Minister of Environment and Cllimate Change Canada, 2019. [Online]. Available: collection_2019/eccc/En81-4-2017-3-eng.pdf


L. Eudy and M. Jeffers, "Foothill Transit Battery Electric Bus Demonstration Results: Second Report," National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO., 2017. [Online]. Available: /docs/fy17osti/67698.pdf


E. Autonomy, "Public transit authorities are taking action to electrify city bus fleets across Canada," 2022.[Online]. Available:




E. N. Caley Johnson, Leslie Eudy, Matthew Jeffers, "Financial Analysis of Battery Electric Transit Buses," 2020. [Online]. Available: analysis_be_tra nsit_buses.pdf

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M. o. Energy, "Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap," Alberta, 2021. [Online]. Available: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. CUTRIC, "Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial." [Online]. Available: ation-integration-trial/


"Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan Guidance for Transit Agencies," Jan 9, 2020 2020.


CUTRIC, "Renewable Natural Gas as a Complementary Solution to Decarbonizing Transit," 2022.


B. G. News, "B.C. investing more than $2.4 billion in Metro Vancouver transit improvements," ed, 2022.


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30 APPENDIX I Below are the instructions for the Canadian ZEB Database survey, which is a comprehensive, quantitative survey of transit agency ZEB readiness. •

Read each column description.

Investigate the colour-coding on the “Sample,” which is on rows 12 through 19.

Investigate how the colour-coding is built via conditional formatting.

Each row is intended to capture the greatest amount of granularity. In other words, if Sample Transit Agency has 10 BEBs (five 40-ft and five 60-ft), that would be entered as two separate rows (i.e., to account for the difference in bus length). As a rule of thumb, data entered into the database should be as disaggregated as possible. The Smartsheet™ in the second component of this memo describes how data are aggregated;

“Tier” is based on a historic understanding of how “ready” a given transit agency is for transit electrification. Broadly, it is a way to prioritize data collection and outreach.

The “Type” of ZEB and “asset” will change the conditional formatting on a given row. This indicates the fields that require data for the chosen type and asset.

See this memo for more on charging infrastructure. The provenance of information should always be documented. This is made possible through the following columns: Criterion, Date Accessed, Attachment, EndNote, Record Number and Ref o

For a description of “Criterion,” see rows 3 through 11.


Enter into EndNote and match the record number into the “Record Number” column.


PDFs should always be associated with the EndNote reference (even if obtained via the data collection survey).

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31 APPENDIX II Survey Sample

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