Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness - Vol. 2

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Canadian ZEB Database™

Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness AUTHORS

Titash Choudhury, Social Scientist, Low Carbon Smart Mobility Jessica Hanson, Project Manager, Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Initiatives Parvathy Pillai, Director, ZEB Consulting Services and Commercialization Dr. Josipa Petrunić, President & CEO


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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 info@cutric-crituc.org CUTRIC Knowledge Series Volume 3, No. 2


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Table of Contents List of figures

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List of acronyms

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Acknowledgements

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Executive summary

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Resumé

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1. Background

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2. Goal

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3. Objectives

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4. Database design and development

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5. Assumptions

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6. Data analysis

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6.1 Current status of BEBs

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6.2 Current status of FCEBs

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6.3 CNG TO RNG (R-CNGs) buses

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6.4 Charging infrastructure

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7. Trends in transit electrification

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8. Canadian ZEB Database™ challenges

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9. Next steps

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10. Conclusion

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References

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List of Figures Figure 1:

CUTRIC ZEB Rollout Process Map

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Figure 2:

Three main components of the database

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Figure 3:

Stages of electrification

Figure 4:

ZEB current status (2022)

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Figure 5:

BEB by stage

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Figure 6:

Comparing BEBs by stage

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Figure 7:

BEB by manufacturer

Figure 8:

BEBs by province

20 21

Figure 9:

FCEB by stage

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Figure 10:

FCEBs by manufacturer and length of the bus

Figure 11:

FCEB buses by province

Figure 12:

CNG by stage

24 24 26

Figure 13:

CNG by manufacturer and bus length

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Figure 14:

CNG buses by province

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Figure 15:

Charger type for ZEBs

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Figure 16:

BEB, FCEB and CNG future trends

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Figure 17:

BEB and FCEB future trends

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List of acronyms

AV

Autonomous vehicle

BEB

Battery electric bus

CNG

Compressed natural gas

CUTRIC

Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium

EV

Electric vehicle

FCEB

Fuel cell electric bus

GHG

Greenhouse gas

HFC

Hydrogen fuel cell

NRCan

Natural Resources Canada

R-CNGs

Renewable compressed natural gas

RNG

Renewable natural gas

TTC

Toronto Transit Commission

YRT

York Region Transit

ZEB

Zero emission bus

ZETF

Zero Emission Transit Fund

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Acknowledgements CUTRIC would like to thank all the transit agencies that participated in the Canadian ZEB Database™ survey.

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Executive summary The Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness Report #2 is part of CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series, and provides an update on the Canadian zero-emission bus (ZEB) landscape. The first Canadian ZEB Database™ report [1] was published in June 2022. It used data directly provided by transit agencies and from the public domain to establish the overall readiness of provinces and municipalities in decarbonizing their fleets. CUTRIC continues to report the advances provinces and municipalities have made under the Canadian ZEB Database™. This second report highlights the most current status of each ZEB technology to September 2022, and forecasts technology adoption to determine whether transit agencies and municipalities will meet Canada’s ZEB targets. It also outlines the next steps and limitations of the Canadian ZEB Database™.

This report is classified by the following technologies: Battery electric buses (BEBs) are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable on-board battery pack. Fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) require a hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) to charge an on-board battery that powers an on-board electric motor. Compressed natural gas (CNG) buses are fuelled with a blend of CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) that is made by using refined or upgraded anaerobically generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels. Autonomous shuttles are 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.

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Résumé Le deuxième 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 Séries du CRITUC et fournit une mise à jour du paysage canadien des autobus à zéro émission (AZE). Le premier rapport de la Canadian ZEB Database™ [1] a été publié en juin 2022. Il utilise les données fournies directement par les agences de transport en commun et recueillies dans le domaine public pour établir l’état de préparation général des provinces et des municipalités en matière de décarbonisation des flottes. Le CRITUC continue de faire état des progrès réalisés par les provinces et les municipalités dans le cadre de la Canadian ZEB Database™. Ce deuxième rapport met en évidence l’état actuel de chaque technologie liée aux autobus à zéro émission jusqu’en septembre 2022 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’autobus à zéro émission pour le Canada. Il présente également les prochaines étapes et les limites de la Canadian ZEB Database™. Ce rapport est classé selon les 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 par un mélange de gaz naturel comprimé et de gaz naturel renouvelable (gaz raffiné ou biogaz anaérobie valorisé) qui remplace les carburants fossiles classiques. Navettes autonomes, 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."

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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 summarizes CUTRIC’s work that led to the development of the Canadian ZEB Database™ and these reports. It describes 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 [2].

Importance of ZEB technology [1] As stated in the first Canadian ZEB Database™ report , for the past decade, ZEB technology has gained traction in Canada for a number of reasons, the most important of which is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector [3].

CUTRIC recognizes that ZEB technology contributes to a better public transit system by supporting cleaner air quality, reduced noise pollution and, potentially, more affordable transit over the long-term [3, 4]. Based on evolving transportation trends, different patterns in ridership and the need for sector recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, ZEB technology also creates new opportunities for the public transit sector. With Canada generating roughly 82 per cent of its electricity from zero-emission power sources, adoption of ZEB technology presents a significant opportunity to decarbonize transportation from a “well-to-wheel” perspective. The urgency and importance of transitioning to ZEB technology gained more traction when government funding opportunities became available for transit agencies to electrify their fleets. In October 2020, Infrastructure Canada announced C$1.5 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission 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.

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ZEB Rollout Process Map However, transitioning to ZEBs requires careful planning and sound understanding of operational and technical differences. Since each transit agency is unique, it needs to tailor its electrification plan accordingly. 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. To support the process of transit electrification, CUTRIC built a ZEB Rollout Process Map [3] in July 2021 Figure 1. The goal of the ZEB Rollout Process Map is to remove some of the barriers transit agencies face when planning the deployment of ZEBs. With nine fundamental steps in place, this Process Map guides transit agencies when planning a full-fleet transition from fossil fuel to zero-emission transportation solutions. 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. This estimate is based on costs associated with electrified buses, charging infrastructure and garage upgrades [6].

Zero Emission Transit Fund Following the October 2020 ZEB funding announcement, Infrastructure Canada launched the Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF) in August 2021, a $2.75 billion fund to support public transit and school bus operators across Canada to 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 [7]. There is a $10 million planning fund within the ZETF program, which supports municipalities and transit agencies to complete planning activities to support their fleet electrification. CUTRIC was identified as the National Planning Service and entered into a Contribution Agreement with the Government of Canada.

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2 Feasibility Analysis CESSFUL UC

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1 Strategic Focus

3 Cost Analysis

5 Risk Analysis

4 Benefits Analysis

6 Needs Analysis

TECHNOLOGY?

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Fossil Fuel

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COST COST ? GHG

8 Empirical Data Analysis

7 Procurement

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Figure 1: CUTRIC ZEB Rollout Process Map

ZEB Committee Over the past five years, CUTRIC has built a series of focus groups composed of transit agencies and manufacturers, including bus and charger manufacturers, that are early adopters of ZEB technologies. The goal is to share their experiences, concerns and recommendations with transit agencies that have yet to begin the electrification journey. To continue to support transit agencies and allied stakeholders to electrify their fleets, in 2021 CUTRIC initiated a monthly national ZEB Committee. This initiative formalizes group dialogues, bringing together transit agencies, manufacturers, utilities and power providers that can share valuable knowledge about transit fleet electrification. As part of its ZEB Committee, CUTRIC 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. It also provides quantitative tracking figures that represent both the status and type of vehicle, charger and (hydrogen) fuelling system adoption across Canada.

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Canadian ZEB Database™ In June 2022, CUTRIC published the first Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada's zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness report as part of CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series. The purpose of the Canadian ZEB Database™ Knowledge Series reports is to provide transit agencies and the Government of Canada with updated data to assess how close the country is to achieving its target of 5,000 ZEBs over the next four years. CUTRIC also uses the ZEB Database™ information to provide recommendations to help transit agencies, municipalities and school boards purchase ZEBs over the next five years.

2. Goal The goal of CUTRIC’s second report is to offer an update on the standardized national scan, analysis and characterization of the Canadian ZEB landscape. This second report presents accurate and updated information detailing the current state of ZEBs, allied infrastructure deployments and future trends in Canada for the year 2022. The report documents transit agency progress in ZEB procurement, adoption and deployment, comparing it to the government’s target.

3. Objectives The objectives of this report are to provide:

1

A brief recap of the methodological robustness that enables the creation of an accurate Canadian ZEB Database™.

2

Quantification and qualification of the diverse types of ZEBs deployed across Canada at various stages of the transit electrification process using aggregated data obtained from transit agencies and the public domain.

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Effective forecasting of trends for the next five years of Canada’s ZEB landscape, comparing current data with the targets set by the Government of Canada. Identification of challenges and lessons learned in the procurement, adoption and deployment of ZEBs in order to help guide public transit agencies that are just starting their ZEB procurement journey.

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4. Database design and development In the first Canadian ZEB Database™ report, CUTRIC provided a detailed explanation of the methodology that creates and maintains the Canadian ZEB Database™ [1]. Therefore, in this section of the second report, CUTRIC only provides a summarized overview of the methodological robustness behind the ZEB Database™. The Canadian ZEB Database™ consists of three main components:

1. Data (raw)

2. Rollup sheet

3. Analytics dashboard

Figure 2. shows the three components of the Canadian ZEB Database™. The three components are dependent on one another – raw data feed into the rollup sheet which, in turn, informs the analytics dashboard. CUTRIC uses the cloud-based software known as Smartsheet™ to store all data, regardless of the originating source. The first component known as the “Data” is a Smartsheet™ where raw data are collected from the following three main sources: (1) (2)

(3)

CUTRIC’s transit agency-focused survey data, i.e., the Canadian ZEB Database™ survey CUTRIC’s Meltwater™ news database, which documents press releases and news stories related to funding announcements for ZEB infrastructure and deployments across Canada Transit agency and manufacturer websites

Figure 2: Three main components of the database

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ZEB survey The data collected from the Canadian ZEB Database™ survey include current and future status updates for ZEBs at various stages of electrification. The survey also collects information about BEBs, FCEBs, autonomous shuttles, CNG buses and their allied infrastructure information. The goal of the survey is to accurately scan and represent the current and future state of ZEBs and its allied infrastructure deployments in Canada. Up to June 2022, 90 per cent of CUTRIC’s member transit agencies participated in CUTRIC’s ZEB Database™ survey. Hence, most of the data aggregated and shown in the first Canadian ZEB Database™ report [1] were provided by CUTRIC’s member transit agencies. However, from June 2022 through September 2022, CUTRIC primarily focused on collecting data from non-member transit agencies. As described in the first report, the “Rollup” is the second component of the Canadian ZEB Database™. Raw data from the “Data” Smartsheet™ automatically get populated in the “Rollup” sheet and analyzed at this stage. To avoid human error and make the process of data management efficient, the rollup sheet is created to automatically arrange the information in a standardized, simple layout that draws attention to key values. Lastly, the “Analytics Dashboard” is the final component of the Canadian ZEB Database™. It offers a visual representation of all of the data captured and are informed by the rollup Smartsheet™. CUTRIC has built a mechanism whereby the complete rollup Smartsheet™ is dynamically linked to the Canadian ZEB Database™.

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5. Assumptions Section 5 summarizes the assumptions used while building the database. The following assumptions underpin the database. I. Types of ZEBs: BEBs are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable on-board battery packs. FCEBs require a hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) to charge an on-board battery which powers an onboard electric motor. CNG buses fuelled with renewable natural gas (R-CNGs) use a blend of CNG a nd RNG as 100 per cent is not needed for zero emission Autonomous shuttles (e-LSAs) are an emerging class of shared mobility for first kilometre/last-kilometre applications in local municipal systems. II. Stages of transit electrification: Figure 3 shows the six stages of transit electrification.

Figure 3: Stages of 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 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

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III. Infrastructure:

1

2

In-depot and on-route charging stations

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3

Location of charging stations (garage depot, on-route etc)

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Charging rate at a charging station in KW

Number of charging stations (count)

Type of charging, whether series or parallel

IV. Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE):

1

Number of cabinets (count)

2

3

Number of dispensers (count)

4

Type of charging hardware (pantograph or plug-in)

Manufacturer(s) of equipment in (1) to (3)

IV. Data inclusion criteria:

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Transit agency or municipal/regional website

Approved coucil meeting minutes, reports, resolutions and strategies

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Press release via TM Meltwater

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Surveys

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Transit agency interviews and direct outreach, by phone, video or email

Focus groups hosted by CUTRIC, including focus groups held at the CUTRIC members-only ZEB Committee and CUTRIC members Meetings

Other, e.g., public policy documents issued by funding bodies

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CUTRIC in-house reports, policy briefs and white papers

V. Items included:

2

1

Modes or platform type: bus and electric trolley

3

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

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

Types of ZEBs: BEBs, FCEBs, CNGs, autonomous shuttles, specialized transit services/platforms and associated infrastructure assets

4

7

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

6

Geography: Canadian municipalities, jurisdiction and provinces

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

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Rail and other non-bus modes

(2)

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

(3)

Private fleets or private interests

(4)

Pilot projects that are short-term and non-procured

(5)

Non-Canadian jurisdictions

(6)

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.

6. Data analysis CUTRIC’s goal is to collect and update the Canadian ZEB Database™ on a regular, ongoing basis. There are over 150 transit agencies in Canada . By June 2022, CUTRIC had reached out 96 transit agencies across the country to collect data. At that point, CUTRIC had successfully collected data from 43 transit agencies across Canada[1]. For this second report, data were collected between June 22- September 1, 2022. During this period, CUTRIC was able to reach out to 142 transit agencies, of which 61 responded to CUTRIC’s survey. Participation in this second survey included transit agencies new to the process, as well as transit agencies who had provided data during the first round of data collection (November 2021 to June 2022). It was important that agencies participating in the first round of data collection update their status during the second round because they often face challenges during electrification and plans often change. For example, challenges such as supply chain issues, utility restriction, lack of funding, cost and inflation can modify or delay the electrification process. The other reason why CUTRIC continues to update its database is because transit agencies that were at the “funding” stage or “pronouncement” stage in 2021, are most likely at a “procurement” or “feasibility” stage in 2022. [1]

CUTRIC has arrived to this number after cross referencing Statistics Canada’s data, CUTA’s Fact Books, survey responses from transit agencies and municipalities. CUTRIC is currently refining the baseline data and building a standardized database for the total number of Transit Agencies and their current fleet size

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Any survey response and data collected after September 1, 2022, are not reflected in this report. The results presented in this report provide current and future electrification plans up to December 2022. Transit agency plans for electrification from January 2023 onward are not reflected in this report. Changes and updates from September to December 2022 will be reflected in the next report.

Current status of ZEBs in Canada According to data collected by CUTRIC, as of September 2022, BEBs make up 61.2 per cent of all current national transit electrification plans. Figure 4. shows the number and type of ZEBs in Canada. It shows that 1,171 BEBs have been or will be introduced in Canada by the end of 2022. 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. CUTRIC has not identified any major alteration in CNG or R-CNG adoption in Canada in the last three months. Currently there are 708 CNG buses at various stages of deployment, making up to 36.8 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. The RNG technology is explained in detail in section 6.3. CNG TO RNG (R-CNGs) buses. Lastly, with no notable change in the past three months, there are 45 FCEBs at various stages of deployment in Canada, making up two per cent of total zero-emission fleets. In Canada there are currently a few transit agencies planning to undertake autonomous shuttle pilot projects. However, CUTRIC has not received or documented any current deployment plans for autonomous shuttles.

ZEB Current Status 43 FCEB

708 CNG

1171 BEB

Figure 4: ZEB current status (2022) showing number and type of buses

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The next section provides descriptions of 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 significance of these technologies for transit agencies when planning their electrification strategy.

6.1 Current status of BEBs The transition to BEBs is still the most viable option for transit electrification, as BEBs are powered by electricity that is stored in rechargeable on-board battery packs. BEBs provide operational savings and environmental benefits by using clean energy sources such as hydro, wind or solar, all of which present a low carbon intensity [8]. They also eliminate direct emissions from the tailpipe, contributing to better air quality. Depending on the power grid at play, BEBs can be less expensive and require less maintenance compared to their diesel-powered counterparts [9]. Though BEBs can contribute to global GHG emissions based on the source of electricity used, most transit agencies consider BEBs an attractive technology for electrification. Data collected from 61 transit agencies show that currently there are 1,171 BEBs in various stages of electrification in Canada. Figure 5 shows BEBs by their varying stages of electrification. As of September 2022, 535 buses are in a funding stage of procurement, 208 buses are already in service, and various transit agencies have announced that 124 buses will begin the acquiring process by the end of 2022. Currently, 214 BEBs are undergoing BEB by Stages feasibility or completed their 600 535 feasibility studies in 500 various parts of Canada, 55 BEBs 400 are in procurement 300 mode and another 214 208 200 35 BEBs have been 124 commissioned with 100 55 riders onboard. 35 0 t

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Comparing BEBs by Stage 208 206

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Figure 6 : Comparing BEBs by stage Figure 6. shows that from June to September 2022, there was a 19.4 per cent increase in BEB activity in the country, especially new feasibility studies and pronouncements. This increase not only results from CUTRIC’s expanding data pool, with more transit agencies participating in the ZEB Database. It is also because of the new ZETF funding, with many transit agencies beginning electrification journey with feasibility studies.

BEB by Manufacturer 120

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Figure 7: BEB by manufacturer

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Figure 7 shows that, as of September 2022, Proterra is the largest supplier of BEBs in Canada with 100 buses. They are followed by New Flyer with 90 buses, Nova Bus with 35 buses, and BYD and Vicinity with 22 buses and 14 buses, respectively. The largest BEB fleets in Canada are composed of 40-ft buses, with a total of 462 of these buses known to CUTRIC. The number of BEBs by manufacturer and by length count are significantly less than the total number of BEBs in the country. This is because many transit agencies are still at planning, pronouncement, feasibility and funding stages, and are still assessing which manufacturer and length of bus they plan to procure for their fleet. Figure 8 shows the provincial distribution of the current transition to BEBs in Canada. As of September 2022, Ontario has 49 per cent of all BEBs in Canada, a result of significant BEB implementations at Canada’s large transit agency – the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). This is followed by British Columbia with 17 per cent of all BEBs and Manitoba with 14 per cent of BEBs in Canada. However, Quebec’s plan to acquire over 1,200 BEBs 3% 1% 2% between 2024 to 2026 will alter the BEB landscape and distribution [10] .

NB NS SK

MB

That being said, CUTRIC’s ZEB Database™ survey shows that many small to medium transit agencies like ROAM transit in Banff and Canmore [11] and Codiac Transport in Moncton are planning to add new buses to their fleet, making 2023 a significant year for transit electrification.

12%

QC 7%

AB 9%

17%

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BEB by Province Figure 8: BEBs by province

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Challenges of BEBs Transit agencies have identified some of the challenges related to various stages of BEB adoption.

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 [3]. Currently, batteries represent a significant portion of BEB costs. More affordable batteries are needed to make BEBs competitive with diesel buses.

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. However, these solutions rarely result in cheaper energy prices [12].

Real estate: Chargers on-route present real estate requirements and incur

installation costs.

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6.2 Current status of FCEBs FCEBs are also 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 environmental benefits of FCEBs are best obtained using electrolytic (“green”) hydrogen, which is electricity generated from clean sources, such as hydro, wind or solar. In this second report, CUTRIC has identified significant changes in the FCEB landscape. As of September 2022, 45 FCEBs are in two different stages of electrification – funding and procurement. Figure 9. shows that 10 FCEB buses are in funding stage and 33 FCEB buses are currently in procurement stage. 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 [13].

FCEB by Stage 35

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Figure 9: FCEB by stage

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Figure 10. shows that all the FCEBs are made by New Flyer and most are 40-foot buses. FCEB by Manufacturer 120

FCEB by Length

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Figure 10: FCEBs by manufacturer and length of the bus

Figure 11. shows that, as of June 2022, all pronounced or procured FCEBs are in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. Manitoba represents 73 per cent of FCEB commitments in Canada.

ON 22%

FCEB by Province

AB 5% MB 73% Figure 11: FCEB buses by province

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Challenges of FCEBs Despite the advantages of FCEBs, CUTRIC’s ZEB Rollout Process Map 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 [14].

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 fuel cell, fuel tank and related fuel supplies [4].

Lack of best practices: Currently, there are no Canadian best practices or transit guidance documents for transit agencies who want to adopt this innovative technology.

Lack of manufacturers for specialized FCEB buses in the market: Several

small to medium transit agencies use specialty transit or ~25-foot vans for public transportation. The Canadian market only offers BEB and FCEB options in the 40-foot and 60-foot ranges. For smaller vehicles, the market depends on either a handful of manufacturers (Letenda, BYD, EV Star) or custom-made powertrain solution providers (e-lighting motors). There are no FCEB options in the size range of 30 feet or less, which makes it challenging to adapt.

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However, FCEBs are upcoming decarbonizing technologies. As additional federal and provincial funding becomes available, and more transit agencies are building knowledge about them. For provinces that already have existing infrastructure, FCEBs are recognized as a more sustainable option than BEBs.

6.3. CNG TO RNG (R-CNGs) buses CNG buses that use RNG in their fuelling supply chain (known as “R-CNG buses”) are a less frequently explored option for decarbonization in Canada. Yet, in some cases, R-CNG buses can be cleaner and cheaper to operate than BEBs or FCEBs [15]. R-CNG buses use refined or upgraded anaerobically generated biogas in place of traditional fossil fuels. This technology has gained importance globally given the pressing need to dramatically reduce GHG emissions, while maintaining operational costs comparable to diesel and CNG. CUTRIC’s 2022 report, Renewable Natural Gas as a Complementary Solution to Decarbonizing Transit [15], shows that RNG can be directly injected into CNG pipelines, leveraging already installed refuelling 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 for ZEB transition. Figure 12 shows that no significant changes have taken place since June 2022. As per the latest data, there are least 606 CNG buses currently in service in Canada. As CNG is a traditional technology, it is likely that there are more than 606 buses in service across Canada. CUTRIC data also show 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 13: CNG by manufacturer and bus length Figure 13. shows that New Flyer is the largest manufacturer of CNG buses in Canada, followed by Nova Bus and Vicinity, respectively. Figure 13. also shows that the largest number of CNG buses in Canada are 40-ft long, followed by 60-ft and 30-ft buses, respectively.

AB 21% Figure 14. 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.

CNG by Province

ON 13% BC 66% Figure 14: CNG buses by province

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.

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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.

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.

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.

6.4. Charging infrastructure Charging infrastructure remains a core component for transit agencies to explore, especially if the ZEB technology selected is battery electric. There is a wide range of options and configurations available for charging infrastructure for 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.

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29 The federal ZETF provides funding to upgrade charging infrastructure and refurbish garages [2]. 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. Based on these surveys, Figure 15 shows that 16 Plug-in per cent of the chargers in Canada include 16% lower-powered plug-in, and eight per cent are pantograph chargers, which constitute Pantograph higher-powered overhead charger 8% technologies for BEBs.

Charger Type

Note that these numbers Unknown are not representative of 77% all transit agencies in Canada, as only 25 per Figure 15: Charger types cent of transit agencies provided charger type data in the survey, and 77 per cent of the charger type data are unknown by the survey respondents. This is because many of the transit agencies are still at an early stage of electrification to determine the charger type.

7. Trends in transit electrification One of the goals of CUTRIC’s Knowledge Series is to produce reports that will be incrementally updated and compared with Canada’s ZEB targets 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 16. shows the number of ZEBs increasing year over year across Canada, based on data CUTRIC has collected on ZEB commitments and pronouncements nationwide. On the current trajectory of adoption, it shows that that transit agencies will meet Canada’s target of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026 if one considers BEBs, FCEB and CNG. The forecast for 2026 based on current data is 4,996 buses. Over 2022, new data and accelerated ZEB planning may escalate the success rate of ZEBs committed by municipalities and regions, although it is still unclear whether the 5,000 targets will be achieved without CNG buses.

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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, R-CNG buses are not recognized in Infrastructure Canada’s ZEB funding and would not be counted as part of the federal target of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026 [4].

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Figure 17 shows the future trends for BEBs and FCEBs only. The forecast for 2026 based on current data is 2,866 buses if one considers 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 rapid fleet electrification. As mentioned in section 6.1, the Quebec government is providing funding to nine of the province’s transit agencies – in 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]. The BC government recently announced $2.4 billion towards transit electrification and has successfully completed a feasibility study to deploy more than 100 ZEBs in various municipalities across the province [18]. Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg have initiated planning and action towards complete electrification of their entire fleets. Winnipeg has promised to have about 15 per cent of its fleet electric by 2027. Edmonton already operates 40 electric buses, with 20 more expected by the end of 2022 [16]. Many smaller transit agencies are working closely with other larger agencies to reach the ambitious goal of 5,000 ZEBs by 2026. However, there are existing challenges that CUTRIC recognized while building the Canadian ZEB Database™. These challenges are discussed in the next section.

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BEB, FCEB, CNG Future Trend (Year-on-year basis) 5000

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Figure 17: BEB and FCEB future trends

8. Canadian ZEB Database™ challenges A few challenges related to the Canadian ZEB Database™ are listed below:

The reported number of buses versus actual number of buses purchased: Figure 5. explicitly indicates that almost 60 per cent of the buses are either at pronouncement, feasibility or funding stages of electrification, which are considered initial stages of deployment. The stages after funding – procurement, commissioning and in-service – can be time-consuming because transit agencies and allied stakeholders must navigate hurdles, and may take longer to achieve their electrification goals than expected. Issues such as increases in bus pricing, utility restriction, and on-route charger ownership and maintenance can be additional challenges that can alter the actual number of buses and allied infrastructure being procured compared to the original announcement.

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Lack of a baseline list of transit agencies and total number of buses: Although CUTRIC has developed a robust methodology to build the Canadian ZEB Database™, there are existing gaps to determine the exact number of transit agencies and buses in the country. CUTRIC is currently collecting data and validating them with municipalities to build a baseline national reference guide showing the exact number of transit agencies and buses under them.

Technical gaps: The Government of Canada has established a goal of deploying 5,000 zero-emission buses (ZEBs) by 2026. Yet, significant financial and technical gaps remain in many transit agencies’ plans to procure and deploy these vehicles, along with their supporting infrastructure. CUTRIC plans to support agencies with its CUTZEB™ Joint Procurement Initiative. It will provide a uniquely synergistic, comprehensive and cost-effective process for joint procurements, especially by bringing together small to mid-sized transit agencies across Canada.

Underprepared workforce: Workforce development is a major challenge the industry is currently facing to deploy ZEBs in Canada. Educational institutions are developing curriculum to train agencies, and current operational and maintenance staff. However, the educational institutions and transit agencies rely heavily on manufacturers’ technical manuals to train their existing staff. Whenever there is an operational challenge, the agencies often have to wait for the manufacturer to resolve the issue, which can be a serious operational problem.

Data collection challenges: Collecting comprehensive charging infrastructure data is challenging. This is because 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.

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9. Next steps Going forward, CUTRIC aims to collect 80 to 100 per cent of the available data from Canada’s transit agencies before its next reporting period to provide a more accurate representation of the status of transit electrification in the country. CUTRIC has already started the next phase of data collection. CUTRIC sent the Canadian ZEB Database™ survey to non-member transit agencies in September 2022, many of which have shown interest in participating in the survey. For the next report, additional data collection parameters will be added to the Canadian ZEB Database™. These parameters include the number of paratransit buses with wheelchair accessibility, including those within the electrification sector. CUTRIC will also include the transit agencies planning to transition from CNG TO RNG (R-CNG) over the next five years. Lastly, CUTRIC focuses on building the baseline data, aiming to constantly refine, improve and update the data collection process iteratively.

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10. Conclusion This Canadian ZEB Database™: , published as part of 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 in the transition to ZEBs. It helps governments and other decision-makers generate comparisons and perform trend analyses between jurisdictions to assess the effect of relevant public policies, including funding. The primary objective of the next reports will be to mature and develop the existing database and to update the government, transit agencies, municipalities, manufacturers and utilities 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 reports. CUTRIC’s data analysis shows that while trends demonstrate growth in BEBs and FCEBs year over year, it is relatively slow. CUTRIC’s data analysis also shows the various challenges transit agencies are facing at various stages of electrification. 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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35 References [1] CUTRIC, "Canadian ZEB Database™: Canada’s zero-emission bus landscape and electrification readiness report," in Knowledge Series, Canada, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://issuu.com/cutric_crituc/docs/the_canadian_zeb_database_-_canada_s_zero-e mission [2] M. Wanek-Libman. "Government of Canada launches its zero-emission bus fund." Mass Transit. https://www.masstransitmag.com/bus/vehicles/hybrid-hydrogen-electric-vehicles/arti cle/21233916/government-of-canada-launches-its-zeroemission-bus-fund (accessed 2021). [3] 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: https://cutric-crituc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Best-Practices-and-Key-Conside rations-for-Transit-Electrification-and-Charging-Infrastructure-Deployment-to-Deliver-Pr edictable_-Reliable_-and-Cost-Effective-Fleet-Systems.pdf [4] L. Meredith and P. Amy, "Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan Guidance for Transit Agencies," January 9, 2020 2020. [5] Emma Jaratt. "Federal government announces $1.5 billion for zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure." Electric Autonomy,. https://electricautonomy.ca/2020/10/01/federal-investment-zev-bus-charging/ Accessed: October 6, 2020. [6] Mia Rabson. "Transit lobby group says electrifying Canada's bus fleets needs $3 billion a year." Vancouver Sun. https://www.thestar.com/politics/2020/11/11/transit-lobby-group-says-electrifying-ca nadas-bus-fleets-needs-3-billion-a-year.html Accessed: January 27, 2021. [7] Infrastructure Canada. "Government of Canada investing to electrify transit systems across the country." https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-investing-to-electrify-t ransit-systems-across-the-country-895599052.html Accessed: March 8, 2021. [8] 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: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2019/eccc/En81-4-2017-3-eng.pdf [9] L. Eudy and M. Jeffers, "Foothill Transit Battery Electric Bus Demonstration Results: Second Report," National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO., 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/67698.pdf

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[10] J. Arsenault, "Electric city buses: A large order financed by Quebec," ed: La Presse, 2022. [11] E. Jarratt, "Banff National Park adding three electric buses in 2022 and three in 2023 as part of five year, $12.9 million deal," in Electric Autonomy Canada, ed. Canada, 2022. [12] E. N. Caley Johnson, Leslie Eudy, Matthew Jeffers, "Financial Analysis of Battery Electric Transit Buses," 2020. [Online]. Available: https://afdc.energy.gov/files/u/publication/financial_analysis_be_transit_buses.pdf [13] M. o. Energy, "Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap," Alberta, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/d7749512-25dc-43a5-86f1-e8b5aaec7db4/resource/ 538a7827-9d13-4b06-9d1d-d52b851c8a2a/download/energy-alberta-hydrogen-road map-2021.pdf [14] CUTRIC, "Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial." [Online]. Available: https://cutric-crituc.org/project/pan-canadian-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicle-demonstratio n-integration-trial/ [15] CUTRIC, "Renewable Natural Gas as a Complementary Solution to Decarbonizing Transit," 2022. [Online]. Available: https://cutric-crituc.org/renewable-natural-gas-a-solution-to-decarbonizing-transit-flee ts/ [16] J. S. Rutgers, "A Manitoba company manufactures most of North America’s electric buses — but why is it making them in the U.S.?," in The Narwhal ed, 2022.

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