The time for funding electric buses is now

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made this statement following Vancouver transit provider TransLink’s request for funding from the federal government for the electrification of its bus fleet:

“Electrifying transit is an unmissable opportunity to fight climate change. Transit already reduces personal car use, but electric transit turns a good solution into a great one, enabling millions of Canadians to get around pollution-free.

“In B.C., replacing a diesel bus with an electric version is equal to taking 26 cars off the road each year, based on Clean Energy Canada’s analysis. They also improve air quality and reduce noise pollution, leading to healthier, quieter communities.

“TransLink has a plan to electrify its entire bus fleet by 2040, but action needs to start now. Buses hitting the road today will still be driving a decade from now, and we cannot afford to lock in obsolete technology. Electric buses are smart investments. The dividends? Huge fuel savings, less pollution, healthier riders, new jobs and opportunity for Canada’s electric bus manufacturers.

“Last year, the governments of Canada, B.C. and Vancouver signed the Drive to Zero pledge, signalling a commitment to reduce pollution from commercial vehicles like buses. The prime minister’s mandate letter to the minister for infrastructure and housing also indicated that new federal transit investments should support zero-emission buses.

“TransLink is ready and willing, but they need federal support in the upcoming budget. Let’s not miss the bus on this one.”

KEY FACTS

SOURCE

High gas prices? There’s a policy for that, and it helps combat climate change

The average car built to comply with 2025 standards, for instance, will save about $383 per year on fuel

Image result for national observer: High gas prices? There’s a policy for that, and it helps combat climate change

A recent report released by federal scientists showed that Canada is getting hit harder than the rest of the world by climate change, and the effects are being felt across the country. The historic flood events impacting communities in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario this week are unfortunate examples. The results of our high-emitting behaviours are getting real.

Little surprise, then, that Canadians want to see action on climate change. And accounting for about 25 per cent of Canada’s total emissions, the transportation sector is a big part of the problem. If Canada were to follow Trump and weaken its vehicle efficiency standards, we’ll lose important ground when it comes to meeting our 2030 pollution reduction targets and international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

These standards don’t just cut pollution, they also keep money in the pockets of Canadians by making cars less expensive to fill up. While more fuel-efficient vehicles have a slightly higher sticker price, this can be recouped in a few years, beyond which drivers come out ahead. The International Council on Clean Transportation predicts that the average car built to comply with 2025 standards, for instance, will save about $383 per year on fuel. That same analysis finds that pickup trucks and SUVs built to 2025 standards would see an annual savings of $662. Trump’s rollback would lead to higher fuel bills with higher polluting, less efficient vehicles.

In a recent public opinion survey conducted by Pollara on behalf of Clean Energy Canada, two-thirds of Canadians were supportive of the current vehicle emission standards. They frequently cited cutting pollution, improving public health, improving vehicle efficiency, and spending less on gas as reasons for their support.

When asked whether the federal government should maintain, strengthen or—as Trump is doing—freeze the standards in 2020, just 14 per cent favoured a freeze (compared to 27 per cent who said strengthen, and 36 per cent who said maintain).

Canadians drive cleaner cars and pay less on gas today because these standards exist, and they’ll pay less tomorrow if we keep them in place. This one’s a no-brainer. SOURCE