The first step into a future with reduced greenhouse gas emissions is through the Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF). With global emissions increasing at alarming rates and global warming becoming more of a problem each year, the government decided that action is necessary. With Canada placing a goal to have Net-Zero Emissions by 2050, they hope to guide the rest of the world to do the same. A significant contributor to this goal would be by working toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the best of their ability. Working with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and their $commitment to Zero-Emission Buses (ZEB), as well as the $2.75 billion for the Zero Emission Transit fund. The fund looks to acquire 5000 zero-emission public transit and school buses, to help communities electrify school and transit bus fleets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operational costs for clean transportation.
Type of Funding Available
The contribution amount is dependent on the type of project that the applicant is funding. Planning Projects can have a maximum contribution of up to 80% of their total eligible costs. Capital Projects can have a maximum non-repayable grant of up to 50% of the eligible costs. The maximum amount accessible through the ZETF is $350 million for a project
To be eligible for the ZETF, you must qualify for one of the following:
- Municipalities, local and regional governments
- Provinces or territories
- Public sector bodies, established by or under a provincial or territorial statute
- Indigenous governing bodies, including
- A band council within the meaning of section 2 of the Indian Act
- First nation Inuit or Metis government or authority established according to a Self-Government agreement or a Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement between Her Majesty the Queen and an Indigenous people of Canada that are approved, given the effect, and declared valid by the federal legislation.
- First Nation, Inuit, or Metis government established by or under the legislation, whether federal or provincial, incorporating a governance structure
- Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations with a mandate to improve Indigenous outcomes, organizations serving Indigenous communities living in urban centers and First Nations living off-reserve
- Indigenous development corporations
- In partnership with a public-school board or municipal, regional, or provincial/territorial government, private sector school bus operators.
- Private sector accessible transit bus operators, in partnership with a transit agency or municipal regional or provincial/territorial government
- Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations, such as professional and industry associations, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and academic institutions in partnership with an eligible recipient described above.
There are two kinds of projects that are eligible for the ZETF:
These projects are regarding the research required to have successful ZEB projects. The eligible projects are:
- Feasibility analysis
These findings ensure that a comprehensive electrification plan is in development and the preparations for an application for the ZETF qualify.
The capital projects exist to support ZEB deployment, which includes
- The procurement of buses
- Charging and refueling infrastructure
- Other ancillary infrastructure needs
For ZEBs to be qualified, they must produce no tailpipe emissions. Examples of these are battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. ZEBs can have a traditional internal combustion engine, but they should have the ability to operate without it.
The expenditures that eligible applicants can cover for each eligible project should be direct and necessary for said project. Eligible capital expenditures are:
- Procurement of ZEBs
- Charging/refueling equipment
- Construction or improvements to new facilities
Non-capital expenditures include:
- Costs for warranties of the items above
- External training by the manufacturers or infrastructure suppliers to support a successful transition and operation of ZEB technology
- The costs/expenditures incurred for consultations with Indigenous groups for the project.
- Incremental expenditures directly related to meeting specific program requirements include climate change and resiliency assessments.
- Incremental costs of the eligible recipients’ employees if employees or equipment pertain solely to the implementation and development of the project or:
- If there is a lack of private sector capacity to undertake the work
- The work involves proprietary or specialized infrastructure or equipment requiring specific knowledge or skill of the recipient’s employees.
- The collective agreement that the recipient must use their unionized employees for specific project work
- The costs associated with project monitors or independent certifiers
The applications for projects will continue to be accepted continuously until the program end date, which is March 31, 2026, or until all of the funding provided can be allocated. All the final payments for eligible projects must occur before the program deadline.