The buses will be the LFSe+, the 40 foot long-range battery electric bus model from Nova Bus. The base order is for 339 units at $583 million, with an option of 890 units valued at $1.531 billion.
The STM acted in collaboration with the Association du transport urbain du Québec (ATUQ).
"Nova Bus is very proud to be a long-term partner of ATUQ and its members: we have delivered more than 6,000 buses in Québec since 1997," Ralph Acs, president of Nova Bus, said in a statement.
"We are honored to continue this collaboration by supporting Quebec public transit authorities in their transition to electromobility and to be part of this new chapter we are writing together to collectively contribute to the fight against climate change."
The buses will be delivered over a three-year period starting in 2025. According to a release, it is the most significant single order of electric buses in history in North America.
Nova Bus, based in Saint-Eustache, Que., is a member of the Volvo Group. Its portfolio includes electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas and clean diesel buses, high-capacity vehicles as well as integrated intelligent transport systems.
The Nova Bus order
The Quebec government’s plan to electrify public transit includes the goal of having 55 per cent of buses on the road being electric by 2030 and every new bus purchase being 100 per cent electric as of 2025.
The ATUQ bid was launched on behalf of nine public transit authorities and one public transit organization in Québec. Aside from the STM, this includes:
· The Société de transport de Laval
· The Réseau de transport de la Capitale
· The Réseau de transport de Longueuil
· The Société de transport de Lévis
· The Société de transport de l'Outaouais
· The Société de transport de Sherbrooke
· The Service de Transport en Commun de Trois-Rivière
· The Société de transport du Saguenay
According to the CBC, the federal government’s contribution amounts to $780 million, while Quebec is spending $1.1 billion. The 10 public transit companies will cover the remaining $234 million. As part of the funding agreement, 25 per cent of the parts used in manufacturing must be Canadian acquired, and the final assembly must be done in the country.
The Montreal Gazette states the STM will get 607 of the total buses in the order.
It was also reported by the paper that, during the announcement at the Saint-Eustache facility, Provincial Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault stated the vehicles would reduce about 930,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over their approximate 16 year lifespan.
The LFSe+ frames for this order will be built at Saint-François-du-Lac and the buses will be assembled at the Saint-Eustache facility.
The bus has a modular battery that can store up to 564 kilowatt-hours, offering a range between 340 and 470 kilometres.