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City of Saskatoon shopping for electric buses this summer


The City of Saskatoon is looking to acquire electric buses for the city’s fleet.

The city has invited bids for 40-foot electric buses featuring a low-floor body design, wheelchair ramp and floor locks, and fire-resistant materials inside.

Earlier this year, a report to the city’s transit committee said Saskatoon could save $66 million if it went with an all-electric bus fleet.

“The Administration believes that the move to BEBs for both financial and environmental reasons will be difficult no matter when the decision is made," the administration report stated.

"There will always be limited funds and a high degree of urgency for fleet replacement. Considering all factors, the Administration believes that moving to BEBs now makes sense because this investment will lower the long-term costs to the City and provide for better performance in cold weather.”

From Oct. 5, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021, Saskatoon Transit leased an electric bus and tested how it performed in all four seasons.

The report said that while the capital cost of purchasing electric versus diesel buses is higher — $1.2 million compared to $660,000 — electric buses have much lower operating costs.

However, those savings will only be realized once the fleet has been completely converted, according to the report.

It would take an annual capital fleet replacement budget of $12 million to convert the entire fleet to electric buses, the report said.

The current Civic Operations Centre can charge about 30 electric buses.

How many electric buses the city will buy this summer will depend on the municipal budget, according to the documents.

Bidding closes on July 28. Top Stories

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