PALO ALTO, Calif. – David Heurtel, the Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change and Tyson Eckerle, Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), today unveiled the eLion electric school bus in Palo Alto. The eLion, the first Type C electric school bus manufactured in North America, uses a technology developed and funded in part by proceeds from the Québec cap-and-trade program which is linked with California’s.
“I applaud the leadership of Lion bus, which has literally redefined school bus standards with its eLion and has quickly emerged as a North American leader in the field,” said Minsiter Heurtel “Transportation electrification is among the promising solutions for fighting climate change and modernizing Québec’s economy. This is why our government is proud to allocate income from the carbon market, through Québec’s Green Fund, to support innovative companies like Lion Bus that allow us to take yet another step toward a modern, sustainable and low-carbon economy for our own well-being and the well-being of our children.”
At today's event, GO-Biz deputy director Eckerle and Lion Bus President Marc Bédard announced that with help from GO-Biz, the Canadian bus manufacturer plans to locate a new manufacturing facility in California. The state plans to help Lion find a location for the new facility as they ramp up production.
“GO-Biz is proud to partner with Lion Bus to help bring a new electric bus manufacturing facility to California and help meet Governor Brown’s goal of putting 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025,” said deputy director Eckerle. “The eLion Type C electric school bus demonstrates that we can dramatically improve the health of our children by deploying zero emission vehicles where it matters most, at home and at our schools.”
The eLion provides an example of how the two regions’ leadership and collaboration on climate change is driving economic growth through clean tech investment and innovation. Since the launch of their cap-and-trade programs in 2013, Québec and California have provided more than $5.5 billion for initiatives and technologies financed through Québec’s Green Fund and California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Many of the investments target innovations in transportation, since this sector is the largest single contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in both California (37.5%) and Québec (43%).
America's school buses travel about four billion miles each year, burning through over 800 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. A 2001 California study found that the level of diesel exhaust could be up to four times greater than in cars and up to eight times greater than the statewide average air level. As the U.S. EPA points out, exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.
The eLion was developed by Québec-based Lion Bus and is emblematic of the region’s fast growing electric vehicle industry. Zero emission school buses are attracting strong interest from school districts because they make the planet cleaner and provide healthier air for children, whose developing lungs are especially vulnerable to vehicle emissions. Zero-emission buses also benefit from incentive purchase funding made possible by Québec and California’s cap-and-trade programs, which aims to help bring technologies like the eLion to communities most in need of pollution relief.
California and Québec have linked their respective cap-and-trade programs to create the only carbon market in the world that is designed, developed and operated by sub-national governments from different countries. With the province of Ontario expected to join in 2018, the market will soon represent a population of 62 million and a GDP of more than $3.7 trillion. As this carbon market continues to grow, the pool of technical expertise offered by participating regions will likewise expand, helping bring to market even more innovations and solutions for the fight against climate change.
About the Québec Green Fund
For Québec, all the proceeds from its share of the carbon market goes to its Green Fund and are earmarked for the financing of the different initiatives contained in the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan, which aim at reducing GHG emissions and at helping Québec society adapt to the impacts of climate change.
About the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) was created by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to serve as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit assistance, regulatory guidance, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more.