News & Media

How Canada can catch up in implementing electric buses

Letenda is an innovative Quebec-based company that develops and markets a 30-foot urban bus, known as the midibus, specifically designed for electric propulsion.

Canada is moving toward a future driven by clean energy. This is reflected in the growth in the number of sustainable transportation projects emerging across the country. However, the adoption of electric buses appears to be slower than in the United States.

An inspiring tender process

Canada's various levels of government have committed to promoting the integration of sustainable transportation by encouraging research and development. However, the process of implementing new technologies remains complex, if not non-existent.

Since the primary role of transit corporations is to provide service to users, they are understandably reluctant to take on R&D product testing. As some U.S. transit corporations have shown, encouraging field testing of new, high-potential sustainable transportation solutions has allowed them to address some of their operational issues. Their openness is even recognized for accelerating innovation.

According to the tendering process in place in Canada, transit corporations require available, market-proven buses. Bus manufacturers are forced to offer their existing products. This lack of openness hampers the adoption of innovative solutions.

A hostile climate

Canada’s extreme weather conditions also have a significant impact on the autonomy of the electric buses currently available on the market. This may affect a transit corporation's decision to replace its fleet. This is why it is important to test products designed, manufactured and adapted to local climate conditions.

Taking inspiration from our neighbours to the south

In the United States, some transit corporations have obtained public funding for field-tested projects. In California, Foothill Transit took advantage of this measure to conduct a successful demonstration in collaboration with Proterra. Such initiatives help accelerate the adoption of electric buses.

Another interesting avenue is openness to unsolicited proposals.

For example, LA Metro outlines its goals and invites private companies to propose solutions to meet their needs.

A local solution

Canada has everything it needs to take its place as a leader in integration of sustainable transportation. In addition to our renewable energy sources, we benefit from the expertise of several large companies and research centres in this field.

Designed with Canadian winter conditions in mind, the Letenda midibus is 100% electric and specially developed to meet the needs of our transit corporations. Its light construction and high energy efficiency allow it to travel 280 km between loads while optimizing winter performance. Superior driving safety at a lower total cost of ownership makes it the ideal 100% electric solution.