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Winnipeg Transit orders NFI zero-emission buses

The Xcelsior CHARGE FC hydrogen fuel cell-electric bus. (Courtesy NFI Group Inc.)

NFI Group Inc. subsidiary New Flyer Industries Canada ULC has received new orders for 16 battery-electric and fuel cell-electric transit buses from Winnipeg Transit. 

The contract also has options to be extended for up to four years to purchase up to 150 of the 40-foot zero-emission buses. NFI will add up to 166 buses to its backlog.

The five-year contract includes four Xcelsior CHARGE FC hydrogen fuel cell-electric 40-foot, heavy-duty transit buses and four 60-foot versions of the Xcelsior. It also includes four 40-foot and four 60-foot Xcelsior CHARGE NG battery-electric 40-foot transit buses.

The purchase of the buses helps toward a 100 per cent zero-emission fleet by 2050 as outlined in the city’s climate plan. Winnipeg Transit delivers more than 48 million trips annually.

"We are now proudly enabling the agency’s transition to a low-carbon future through our efficient, long-range battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses for healthier Manitoba communities,” said Chris Stoddart, NFI’s president of North American bus and coach in a statement.

In September, SustainableBiz reported on the launch of the CHARGE FC. It is said to save 85 to 175 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) per year from tailpipe emissions compared to a traditional diesel bus with a range of 595 kilometres. Its only output is water vapour, and it can be refuelled between six and 20 minutes.

NFI has delivered more than 1,560 transit buses to Winnipeg Transit since 1987.

NFI (NFI-T), headquartered in Winnipeg, has electric vehicles (EVs) operating in over 110 cities in six countries. The company has produced about 105,000 coaches and buses for use around the world, with the Xcelsior platform delivering 16,000 buses to date.

CapMetro purchases NFI chargers

The Capital Metro Transportation Authority (CapMetro) has purchased 30 Heliox 180 kW-h depot overhead chargers, including 90 pantograph dispensers, from NFI Infrastructure Solutions.

The purchase is part of CapMetro’s five-year contract with NFI subsidiary New Flyer for up to 171 battery-electric buses and 427 chargers. The chargers are meant to serve as part of CapMetro’s plan to transition to a fully battery-electric fleet.

CapMetro delivers 20 million annual trips through bus paratransit and commuter rail services. Since 1997, NFI has delivered over 360 vehicles to CapMetro.

“By leveraging NFI’s extensive experience in smart charging infrastructure, CapMetro will support zero-emission bus deployment in Austin, ultimately delivering cleaner, quieter mobility in Texas,” Stoddart said in a statement.

NFI Infrastructure Solutions has installed over 330 chargers installed to date.

Electra signs amendment with Kuya

Electra Battery Materials Corporation has signed an amendment allowing Kuya Silver Corp. a 100 per cent interest in Electra’s remaining assets at the silver-cobalt mining camp of Cobalt, Ont.

To exercise this right, Kuya (KUYA-CN) has to make a payment in cash or in the equivalent value of its shares totaling $1 million to Electra on or prior to Jan. 31. Kuya will also grant a two per cent royalty on net smelter returns from commercial production derived from the remaining assets.

“Our initial agreement with Kuya was designed to allow us to maximize shareholder value for our exploration assets in Ontario, given our primary focus on recommissioning North America’s first cobalt sulfate refinery,” said Trent Mell, Electra’s CEO in a statement.

“Accelerating the terms of the initial agreement with Kuya allows us to focus on advancing our strategy of developing an integrated battery materials complex that combines the production of cobalt, nickel, and manganese sulfates with the recycling of battery black mass.”

Electra held the largest land package at the Cobalt camp, which spans more than 10,000 hectares with over 50 past-producing mines. Originally discovered in 1903, over 600 million ounces of silver and 50 million pounds of cobalt were mined in the district along with copper and nickel over a 60-year period.

In September, SustainableBiz reported on Electra’s scoping study for an EV battery materials park in Timiskaming Shores, Ont.

“North American OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in particular have started to realize that there was too much reliance on China. In fact, there are a couple of metals that are key to NMC (nickel, manganese, cobalt) batteries, between 75 and 90 per cent are processed in China,” Electra’s vice president of investor relations Joe Racanelli explained at the time.

“Given some geopolitical developments over the past couple of years, the realization is that that’s not going to be advantageous or strategic.”

Kuya, headquartered in B.C., is focused on acquiring precious metals in Peru and Canada.

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