Quebec's largest school board begins shift to electric buses

The Commission scolaire de Montréal rolled out its first electric school bus on on Tuesday. The school board plans to make its entire fleet electric over the next decade.

'We know how important environmental issues are for students,' head of CSDM says

The CSDM rolled out its new electric school bus on Tuesday. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Quebec's largest school board rolled out its first electric school bus on Tuesday.

The Commission scolaire de Montréal plans to swap out its entire fleet of gas-guzzling school buses over the next decade.

Catherine Harel Bourdon, the president of the school board, said the switch sends a positive environmental message to the community.

"We know how important environmental issues are for students," Bourdon said in a statement Tuesday.

The CSDM says it's the first electric school bus on the island.

Other regions, including Laval and the Eastern Townships, have already been testing them out.

It carries a $305,000 price tag — but the province helped out with a $125,000 subsidy. 

The fleet operator, Autobus Idéal, said the electric bus is 80 per cent cheaper to operate than a regular bus.

The bus can travel for 120 kilometres after being plugged in for 4.5 hours, making it ideal for the school bus routes, said the president of the company, Pierre Deschênes.