Oakville will have to pay millions more than planned to buy electric buses


Published June 1, 2023 at 2:15 pm

Being friendly to the environment just got a lot more expensive for Oakville.

A new report suggests that it will cost $8.4 million more than anticipated to buy 15 electric battery buses for Oakville Transit this year.

Further, the cost of “greening” the entire fleet is now estimated to be $57 million more than expected over the next several years, a cost that may continue to rise.

The report indicates that rising costs across the board are to blame for the hike as is the outdated budgeting for the purchase which was based on 2019 pricing in co-ordination with a Provincial government agency.

Originally Oakville planned to spend $15.4 million on the 15 40-foot-long electric battery vehicles this year to replace aging conventional diesel buses.

However, bids from manufacturers came in $560,000 per bus higher than Oakville had set aside for the purchases. The problem is not unique to Oakville. Other municipalities that had been working with the Province to convert bus fleets to green energy vehicles will also face the increase.

The price hike has been blamed on a combination of inflation, manufacturing costs, and the availability of raw materials to make the vehicles.

While Oakville will recoup some of the purchase costs from senior levels of government, the Town will be on the hook for the entire $8.4 million shortfall.

Over the next 13 years, Oakville plans to replace all 102 conventional buses with cleaner electronic vehicles in an effort to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Town currently has 23 of environmentally-friendly buses in its fleet and expects the next shipment of 15 to be complete by the end of the year or early 2024.


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