That Council:


1.         Receive for information the attached Fleet Services report on the update of the approved 2002 Fleet Emission Reduction Strategy.


2.         Approve the updated strategy as the 2004 Fleet Emission Reduction Strategy as follows:


a.   Long-Term (11-20 years) –

i.    Convert the urban transit bus fleet to near-zero emission fuel-cell technology.


b.   Mid-Term (4-10 years) –

i.    Introduce hybrid diesel-electric urban transit buses in transit service, and

ii.   Conduct preparatory work to implement the long-term strategy.


c.   Short-Term (1-3 years) –

i.    Monitor the cost of bio-diesel fuel for possible implementation, if economically feasible,

ii.   Participate in government-led retrofit programs that target emission reduction from older transit buses, and

iii.  Execute the multi-phased implementation plan for hybrid diesel-electric technology.



Recommandation DU COMITÉ


Que le Conseil municipal :


1.         Reçoive comme information le rapport des Services du parc automobile sur la mise à jour de la stratégie de réduction des emissions du parc automobile 2002 approuvée.


2.         Approuve la mise à jour de la stratégie comme étant la stratégie de réduction des émissions du parc automobile 2004, comme suit :


a.   à long terme (11 à 20 ans) –

i.    convertir la flotte des autobus du transport en commun à la technologie des piles à combustible à émissions presque nulles.


b.   à moyen terme (4 à 10 ans) –

i.    introduire dans le service du transport en commun des autobus hybrides diesel-électriques, et

ii.   mettre en oeuvre le travail préparatoire pour les objectifs à long terme.


c.   à court terme (1 à 3 ans) –

i.    suivre le coût de l'essence bio-diesel à fin d'implémentation lorsque celui-ci sera économiquement viable,

ii.   participer dans les programmes de modification gérés par le gouvernement visant à réduire les émissions de vieux autobus, et

iii.  exécuter le plan d'implémentation multi phases pour la technologie hybride diesel-électrique.






1.                  General Manager, Transportation, Utilities and Public Works report dated 17 May 2004 (ACS2004-TUP-FLT-0001).




Report to/Rapport au :


Transportation Committee

Comité des transports


and Council / et au Conseil


17 May 2004 / le 17 mai 2004


Submitted by/Soumis par : R.T. Leclair, General Manager/Directrice générale,

Transportation, Utilities and Public Works/Transport, services et travaux publics 


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Ron Gillespie, Director/Directeur

Fleet Services/Services du parc automobile

(613) 842-3636 x2201, Ron.Gillespie@ottawa.ca



Ref N°: ACS2004-TUP-FLT-0001













That the Transportation Committee recommend Council:


1.         Receive for information the attached Fleet Services report on the update of the approved 2002 Fleet Emission Reduction Strategy.


2.         Approve the updated strategy as the 2004 Fleet Emission Reduction Strategy as follows:


a.   Long-Term (11-20 years) –

i.    Convert the urban transit bus fleet to near-zero emission fuel-cell technology.


b.   Mid-Term (4-10 years) –

i.    Introduce hybrid diesel-electric urban transit buses in transit service, and

ii.   Conduct preparatory work to implement the long-term strategy.


c.   Short-Term (1-3 years) –

i.    Monitor the cost of bio-diesel fuel for possible implementation, if economically feasible,

ii.   Participate in government-led retrofit programs that target emission reduction from older transit buses, and

iii.  Execute the multi-phased implementation plan for hybrid diesel-electric technology.





Que le Comité des transports recommande au Conseil municipal de :


1.         Recevoir comme information le rapport des Services du parc automobile sur la mise à jour de la stratégie de réduction des emissions du parc automobile 2002 approuvée.


2.         Approuver la mise à jour de la stratégie comme étant la stratégie de réduction des émissions du parc automobile 2004, comme suit :


a.   à long terme (11 à 20 ans) –

i.    convertir la flotte des autobus du transport en commun à la technologie des piles à combustible à émissions presque nulles.


b.   à moyen terme (4 à 10 ans) –

i.    introduire dans le service du transport en commun des autobus hybrides diesel-électriques, et

ii.   mettre en oeuvre le travail préparatoire pour les objectifs à long terme.


c.   à court terme (1 à 3 ans) –

i.    suivre le coût de l'essence bio-diesel à fin d'implémentation lorsque celui-ci sera économiquement viable,

ii.   participer dans les programmes de modification gérés par le gouvernement visant à réduire les émissions de vieux autobus, et

iii.  exécuter le plan d'implémentation multi phases pour la technologie hybride diesel-électrique.





The initial Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy (FERS) received Council approval in March 2002.  The FERS committed Fleet Services to a review and update of the strategy once every term of Council.  This is the first such review and update.


Since 2002 many developments have occurred regarding environmental emissions.  The greatest change has been the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the federal government in December 2002.  Canada is now committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by the period 2008 to 2012.  This drove initiation of Natural Resources Canada's program on climate change and other new federal programs.  Continued implementation of the FERS will make a significant contribution to the realization of the national commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, in addition to achieving Canadian Environmental Protection Act regulatory emission requirements.


The feasibility of achieving the 2002 FERS long-term objectives of converting the transit bus fleet to electric drive vehicles using fuel-cell technology has been confirmed through initiation of the European fuel-cell demonstration trial by Ballard's Power System of Vancouver in 2003/2004. Large American urban transit authorities such as New York City Transit and King's County (Seattle) Transit have lead the way in completing extensive trials of hybrid diesel-electric buses and are now acquiring these vehicles for 2004-2006 delivery.  The activities of other transit organizations in implementing hybrid bus programs lends support to and can be used to assist in achieving the FERS objectives.


There continues to be extensive development activities in the automobile, truck, bus and petroleum industries to ensure that vehicles of tomorrow will meet evolving emission regulations.  As such, new solutions and products are appearing on the market with questionable results and unknown impacts to daily operations.  Thorough independent investigation and impact analysis of new developments are required before making implementation decisions.





The attached Fleet Services report titled "Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy 2004 Update" discusses the developments that have driven this review and the recommended new objectives. 


The report begins with a review of relevant changes since Council approved the 2002 FERS.  It then adds a section on traditional methods for emission control and reduction and recommends good maintenance practices, vehicle replacement programs and sustainment of growth in the transit fleet.


A report card of the 2002 approved FERS is provided as part of the report where objectives are clearly identified as either completed, progress achieved or not initiated.  At the same time new goals that warrant staff effort are introduced and justified. 


Fleet Services reports completion of three 2002 FERS short-term objectives:  monitoring bio-diesel, issuing the City idling policy and preparing plans for hybrid diesel-electric bus implementation.  Nearing completion is the conversion of City gasoline stations to ethanol blended fuel (E-10).  The retrofitting of older buses with catalytic converters has been initiated.  One short-term objective had to be withdrawn, that is the ethanol-diesel trial, due to a lack of federal sponsorship, as reported to Council in September 2003.  The following are the new short-term objectives proposed for the 2004 FERS:


-      executing the hybrid bus implementation plan; a follow through from the 2002 FERS in which conducting preparatory work was a mid-term objective


-      subject to avaialble funding, continued retrofit of older buses with catalytic converters with a potential to reduce emissions of hydrocarbons (-20% to -50%), carbon monoxide (-40%) and particulate matter (-50%); and


-     develop the business case to justify the use of bio-diesel fuel, which can reduce emissions of carbon monoxide (-32%),  carbon dioxide (-1%) and nitrogen oxides (-5%).  .


The mid- and long-term 2002 FERS objectives have not yet been initiated.  However, information gathered on both hybrid and fuel-cell technologies confirmed that these current objectives remain viable within their specific timeframes.




Implementation of the recommended initiatives within this strategy will contribute to reduced criteria air contaminants and greenhouse gas emissions for the City of Ottawa.  In particular, these measures will contribute to our commitments as a member of the Partners for Climate Change program to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 20% or more.


This updated report reconfirms the long-term strategy for reducing emissions from the City’s fleet by introducing a zero emission bus within a 20-year horizon. Additional initiatives to further improve air quality are likely to be identified as the City develops its environmental management strategy.





The enclosed FERS 2004 Update report was presented at the Environmental Advisory Committee in March of 2004 for review.  It received full support from the committee's members and was subject to an approval of a motion for Council in support of the 2004 FERS.

"WHEREAS ratification of the Kyoto Protocol commits Canada to reducing its GHG emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2008-2010. Each year, Ottawa’s bus transit fleet emits 92,000 tons of CO2 gases or 77% of the City’s fleet CO2 emissions. The introduction of hybrid diesel-electric buses may potentially reduce the fleet’s GHG emissions by 38%.

WHEREAS emissions from gas or diesel vehicles contribute to $10B per year of direct and indirect health costs in Ontario. The introduction of hybrid buses could reduce the amount of PM by 60% and other toxic emissions by between 30% and 50%. The substitution of petroleum fuel with biofuels or ethanol decrease the amount of certain regulated toxic emissions and generally ease the demand for petroleum products.

WHEREAS the eventual introduction of electric drive vehicles using fuel cell technology would result in emission-free public transportation and a much healthier environment for all.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Environmental Advisory Committee supports that the City adopt the objectives of the Fleet Emission Reduction Strategy."


There was no other public consultation for this report as this update is administrative in nature.





There are no financial implications for this report.  Initiatives that require additional funding will be brought forward to Council under a separate report or included in the annual budget submission to Council, such as the Hybrid Implementation Program #902996 of the 2004 Budget.




Attachment 1 - The enclosed "Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy 2004 Update" provides the detailed analysis that has been summarized in this report.





Fleet Services will implement the short-term objectives of the strategy.  Staff will investigate additional funding options for catalytic converter bus retrofits and develop the mid-term objective of introducing diesel-electric hybrid buses.   Fleet Services will develop the business case that will support a decision for the use of bio-diesel for its buses and other vehicles.  The long-term implementation plans for near-zero emission buses will be initiated based on the overall strategy.  Fleet Services will conduct a review and update of the strategy for the next term of Council.








Attachment 1










Prepared By:              Ron Gray, P.Eng.

Transit Engineer, Technical Services Division




Group:                        City of Ottawa

Transportation, Utility and Public Works Department

Fleet Services Branch




Date:                           April 09, 2004




The initial Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy (FERS) received Council approval in March 2002.  The FERS committed Fleet Services to a review and update of the strategy, once every term of Council.  This is the first such review and update.


The City’s strategy of reducing vehicle emissions remains consistent with national programs and with the reality that the transportation sector is a major contributor to global pollution.  Section 2 of this report emphasizes the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and Canada’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels.  It also describes the Canadian Environmental Protection Act emission regulations.  Implementation of the FERS will make a significant contribution to the realization of the national commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, in addition to achieving regulatory emission requirements.


The report then adds a discussion to highlight the traditional methods for emission control and reduction.  This new section drives the point that the City has historically engaged in emissions reduction through fleet management practices such as good maintenance programs, by timely replacement of older vehicles in the fleet, and by growing the transit fleet.


In Section 4, progress achieved to date is reported against the short-, mid- and long-term objectives of the 2002 FERS, and a new goal that warrants staff effort is introduced.  As such, Fleet Services is proud to report achievement of two short-term goals (issuing the City idling policy, and preparing plans for the mid-term objective) and near-completion of a third (converting to ethanol-gasoline fuel).  One of the three remaining short-term goals has been withdrawn (ethanol-diesel trial), while implementation of the other two are in progress (biodiesel and diesel engine retrofits).  One new short-term goal has also been added -- executing the hybrid bus implementation plan.


The implementation of mid- and long-term objectives has not yet been initiated.  However, new information on diesel-electric hybrid and fuel-cell technologies is presented, confirming that these objectives remain viable in their specified timeframes.  Additionally, the option of compressed natural gas as a fuel alternative has been reviewed and implementation is still not recommended, a conclusion unchanged since the 2002 FERS.


The report concludes with a recommendation to adopt the following objectives as the 2004 FERS:


Short-Term (within 3 years)


(i)            Monitor the cost of bio-diesel for possible future implementation, if economically feasible.


(ii)          Participate in all government-led retrofit program that targets emissions reduction from older transit buses. 


(iii)    Execute the multi-phased implementation plan for hybrid diesel-electric technology.



Mid-Term (4-10 years)


(i)      Introduce diesel-electric hybrid buses into transit service.


(ii)     Conduct preparatory work to implement the long-term strategy.


Long-Term (11-20 years)


(i)      Convert the transit bus fleet to electric-drive vehicles using fuel-cell technology.

Table of Contents


1.         Introduction                                                                                                                  

2.         Emissions Reduction -- National Committment and Regulation                                         

            2.1        Background on Targeted Exhaust Emissions                                                      

            2.2        The Kyoto Protocol                                                                                          

2.3        Regulated Exhaust Emissions                                                                            

3.         Traditional Methods for Emissions Control and Reduction                                               

            3.1        Diesel and Gasoline Engines                                                                              

            3.2        Vehicle Retirement and Replacement                                                                

3.3        Growth of the Transit Bus Fleet                                                                        

3.4        Vehicle Repair and Rebuild                                                                               

4.         Review of the Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy (FERS)                                             

            4.1        2002 Approved FERS Objectives                                                                      

            4.2        Short-Term                                                                                                      


                        4.2.1     Ethanol Blended Diesel Fuel                                                                  

                        4.2.2     Biodiesel                                                                                              

4.2.3     Diesel Engine Retrofits                                                                         

                        4.2.4     Ethanol Gasoline                                                                                   

                        4.2.5     Preparatory Work to Implement the Mid-Term Strategy                         

                        4.2.6     Execution of the Hybrid Bus implementation Plan                                   

4.2.7     Corporate Vehicle and Equipment Idling Policy                                      

4.3        Mid-Term                                                                                                       


4.3.1     Introduction of Hybrid Diesel-Electric Technology into the

Transit Fleet                                                                                         

                        4.3.2     Preparatory Work to Implement the Long-Term Strategy                        

4.3.3     Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Alternative Fuel                                  


4.4        Long-Term                                                                                                     


4.4.1     Zero Emission Fuel Cell Technology                                                      

4.4.2     Fuel Cell Technology: Recent Developments                                          


5.         Conclusions and Recommendations                                                                               



Table 1:  Regulated Emission Standards for Diesel Heavy Duty Engines in Urban Buses             

Figure 1: Estimated Distribution of Fleet Greenhouse Gas Annual Emissions                                

1.0                                                                                                                        INTRODUCTION


In March 2002, City Council approved the Fleet Emissions Reduction Strategy (FERS[1]).  This strategy was structured such that implementation could be carried out in phases, over a number of years, with progressive achievements in reducing exhaust emissions from the City fleet.


Council also included a requirement that the FERS, as part of the Corporate Climate Change Program, be reviewed regularly to update the strategy based on new research and technological advancements, and on the availability of other government funding sources.  There was a further requirement to report back to Council at a minimum of once every term of Council.


Between 2002 and today, much has occurred pertaining to air-borne emissions.  The state of the technology for reducing emissions has evolved as a result of tighter regulated limits for exhaust pollutants.  As well, the commitment to green house gas (GHG) reductions on a national scale has advanced through various federal initiatives. 


This document represents the first review and update of the FERS.  The objective and scope of this document are to: 


1)      Introduce the national commitment for reducing GHG and the regulated limits for exhaust emissions relative to the City fleet.

2)      Present traditional methods employed by the City for controlling and reducing fleet emissions (this was omitted in the first FERS submission).  

3)      Report progress on the 2002 FERS.

4)      Describe recent technological advances in emissions reduction.

5)      Present the recommended FERS, updated for 2004.







Air quality and climate change are significantly impacted by a number of key pollutants, including those targeted for further reduction by the FERS, viz.


·        carbon dioxide (CO2),

·        oxides of nitrogen (NOx),

·        sulphur oxides (SOx),

·        particulate matter, including visible smoke (PM),

·        volatile organic compounds (VOC), including hydrocarbons (HC), and

·        carbon monoxide (CO).


These pollutants, with the exception of CO2, are collectively referred to as criteria air contaminant (CAC) emissions.    

The harmful effects of CAC emissions on human health are well documented by Environment Canada[2] and others.   One of the more visible aspects of these pollutants is the formation of smog.  The smog experienced in Ontario is composed largely of ground-level ozone and PM.  Ozone is created when NOx and VOC combine in the presence of sunlight and fine particles.  Smog causes significant health problems -- children, the elderly and people with respiratory and heart conditions are particularly vulnerable.  Additionally, the presence of sulphur in diesel fuel and gasoline results in the formation of SOx upon combustion, which produces acid rain, can cause respiratory problems, and contributes to smog formation. 

With respect to climate change, the scientific community recognizes that rising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere have a widespread and dramatic effect on the earth's climate.  While climate change is often perceived as a global issue, activities that contribute to GHG pollution take place at a local level, and consequently the cumulative actions taken within our communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can make a difference.


Because of the importance and widespread impact of air quality and climate change, global communities, including Canada, have undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at reducing GHG and other air-borne pollutants.  The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to air pollution in Canada, including man-made greenhouse gases.  Emissions of CO2  -- at 95% --  dominate the GHG produced by the transportation sector, with nitrous oxides (N2O) and methane (CH4) making up the balance.  Therefore, the City’s strategy of pursing the acquisition of low-emission vehicles is consistent with programs undertaken at the national level and, from an emission reduction viewpoint, could ultimately provide the best environmental “bang for the buck”. 




In 1997, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto Japan, 160 countries from around the world, including Canada, committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions {Environment Canada - GHG - Kyoto Protocol[3]}.  This international agreement on climate change, which is known as the Kyoto Protocol, was ratified by Canada in December of 2002 {Government of Canada ratifies Kyoto Protocol.[4]}  It commits Canada to reducing its greenhouse emissions to six percent below 1990 levels by the period 2008 to 2012, a decrease of from 140 to 185 mega tonnes (20-25%) below business-as-usual projections for 2010.

As described in following sections of this report, GHG reductions achievable by the implementation of the FERS will make a significant contribution to the realization of the national commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.  



In Canada, the authority for regulating on-road vehicle emissions was transferred to Environment Canada in 2000, when the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) came into effect.  However, Canadian regulations are expected to continue their alignment with the stringent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards.   Consequently, the U.S. 1998 and 2004 requirements -- to be followed by the 2007 regulations -- impose progressively more stringent restrictions on new vehicles produced for the Canadian market, as exemplified in Table 1 below. 


Table 1:  Regulated Emission Standards for Diesel Heavy Duty Engines in Urban Buses

grams per mega joule (grams per brake horsepower-hour)


Year of










0.48 (1.3)




















































* non-methane hydrocarbons


For 2004:     

·         the HC criterion was stated more correctly as NMHC,

·         NMHC was combined with NOx, and

·         an option allowing slightly higher NMHC+NOx applied, if NMHC was held to 0.5  g/bhp-hr.


Complementing Canadian and US regulations for on-road vehicle emissions are those pertaining to the sulphur content in fuels.  In Canada, sulphur in gasoline will be limited to an average of 30 parts per million (ppm) in 2005 (with an interim limit of 150 ppm in 2002), while sulphur in on-road diesel will be limited to 15 ppm in 2006.  In the US, the requirements are similar and include the 15-ppm limit for diesel fuel in 2006.


Alignment of Canadian emission requirements with those of the US reflects the highly integrated nature of North American vehicle manufacturing and promotes cost-effective advancement of emission control technologies.   The FERS addresses both the US EPA and CEPA emission regulations that essentially target air pollution and acid rain, as well as the GHG emission reductions championed by the Kyoto Protocol.  As described in this report, traditional fleet management methods and progress in the implementation of the FERS have resulted in significant emissions reduction, and more will result from the continued implementation of these programs.  







The bulk of the City fleet operates on diesel fuel.  As a result, approximately 95% of the automotive fuel consumed by the City is diesel, with transit buses using over 80% of the diesel fuel consumed.  The approximate distribution of CO2 -- hence GHG -- produced annually by the City fleet is illustrated in Figure 1 below.  As shown, the transit buses dominate the GHG emitted from the fleet and consequently most of the initiatives to reduce emissions target transit operations.  


 Figure 1: Estimated Distribution of Fleet GHG Annual Emissions

     (from the Logtech report submitted with the 2002 FERS) 


1 ton = 0.907 metric tons (tonnes) = 907.2 kg



Because of their superior energy efficiency, diesel engines produce less CO2, CO and HC compared to their gasoline counterpart, the result of which is an annual GHG emission savings of over 12,000 tonnes for the City, by using diesel fuel.  Historically, however, diesel engines have emitted comparatively higher levels of PM and NOx.  Much of the City’s traditional and short-term efforts have gone into reducing PM and NOx pollutants. 





Internal combustion engines manufactured today are much cleaner than those from years past.  For diesel engines, these reductions have been achieved largely through improvements in fuel delivery, the design of more efficient combustion chambers and through turbo charging advances.  The technology has improved because of normal market forces, such as reduced fuel consumption, and because of progressively more stringent emission regulations.  As shown in Table 1, the current limit for NOx and PM for transit buses represent reductions of 81% and 92% respectively over their 1987 limits, which parallels the magnitude of actual emission reductions achieved by heavy-duty diesel engines over this period.


The City is purchasing replacement vehicles on a continuing basis.  During the past two years, the City has replaced 113 buses, which has had a dramatic effect on reducing fleet emissions of PM and NOx, in particular.  As a result, the City’s fleet is becoming progressively less polluting as the older vehicles are retired and replaced with vehicles that incorporate state-of-the-art technologies for emissions control[5].  The City’s new 60-foot buses, manufactured by New Flyer Industries, exemplify the new emission control technologies.  These buses incorporate enhanced software control, improved exhaust gas recirculation and a new exhaust after-treatment system.  They provide up to a 90% reduction in PM and a 50% reduction in NOx emissions compared to engines produced as late as 1999, and meet the 2004 emission requirements. 





City buses are procured to meet a number of specifications, including those that target performance and reliability as well as rider comfort, convenience and accessibility.  Other features that are incorporated include easy access (low floor, deployable ramp and bus kneeling system), bicycle racks, air conditioning and upholstered seating.  Historically, the net effect of efforts of this nature has been increased transit ridership, which has a dramatic effect on reducing the use of private automobiles and subsequent emissions.  During the past two years, the City has added 41 growth buses to the fleet, potentially having removed over 1,600 single-occupant vehicles from the City roadways on a daily (weekday) basis.





Management of the City fleet involves routine engine maintenance and rebuilds, which are critical for maintaining and upgrading emissions performance, especially for older vehicles.  For example, for diesel engines, a basic emissions tune-up can reduce PM by up to 40%, HC by 78% and CO by 17%, with relatively minimal costs.   The engine rebuild program currently involves about 60 engines a year, and are typically carried out after a bus has accumulated a significant number of kilometres, and when certain performance indicators deteriorate, such as excessive exhaust emissions.  


In addition to preventive and corrective maintenance programs, the City also participates in the provincial Drive Clean[6] program, which ensures that vehicles meet minimum emission standards throughout the life of the vehicle.  City-owned passenger cars and light trucks more than three model years old are required to pass an emissions test every two years.  This procedure involves an inspection of the vehicle’s emission control components and driving the vehicle on a dynamometer, during which time tail pipe emissions (NOx, CO, and HC) are measured.   If excessive emissions are observed, repairs are completed to correct the problem.  Emissions testing of City-owned heavy-duty trucks and buses powered by diesel fuel is similar, except that PM is measured and annual testing is carried out.  For City transit buses, the standard currently in use (by the City) is twice as stringent as the legislated standard under the Drive Clean program.  However, the Drive Clean standard for buses continues to be made more restrictive.  For example, on 01 April 2004, the required opacity will be reduced from 55% to 45% for pre-1990 buses, and from 40% to 35% opacity for post-1991 buses[7].





In this section, implementation achievements are reported and proposed changes to the FERS are introduced.  New objectives are rationalized from the context of technological advancement, as well as the emissions reduction impact.  Additionally, opportunities for external funding are introduced, where appropriate.  The time periods have also been adjusted to reflect the current state of the various technologies and the projected availability of City resources necessary for continued implementation.  The results of ongoing monitoring of other technologies for emissions reduction are also reported.





The 2002 FERS was comprised of several initiatives for reducing exhaust emissions from the City fleet, over three major time periods.  These are summarized below:


Ø      Short-Term (1-2 years)


(i)      Participate in ethanol-blended diesel (E-diesel) trials.

(ii)     Monitor bio-diesel trials, as an option to E-diesel.

(iii)    Retrofit older technology buses with catalytic converters, subject to the availability of external funding.  (Green funds and special programs were to be investigated as part of this initiative, and applications made as appropriate.)

(iv)    Convert all City gasoline fuel sites to ethanol-blended gasoline (E-10), at an approximate cost of $80,000.

(v)          Conduct preparatory work to implement the mid-term strategy.

(vi)        Initiate a comprehensive “No Idling” program for all City vehicles.


Ø      Mid-Term (5-10 years)


(i)      Convert the urban transit bus fleet to hybrid diesel-electric technology.

(ii)          Conduct preparatory work to implement the long-term strategy.


Ø      Long-Term (20 years)


(i)      Convert the urban transit bus fleet to zero (exhaust) emission, fuel-cell technology.


Detailed information pertaining to the 2002 FERS, including the background reference material, can be found on the City website {City of Ottawa Emissions Reduction Strategy[8] - Item No. 6 of Transportation and Planning Committee Report 20}. 



4.2       SHORT-TERM (within 3 years)


                There are a number of projects described in this section that are currently underway, or planned within the next few years, which target reduction of fleet emissions in the short-term.  They include the initiatives originally approved in the 2002 FERS, as well as one new initiative that has been added to reflect fuel technological advances and a more stringent regulatory environment.

4.2.1    Ethanol Blended Diesel Fuel             Withdrawn.

E-diesel is blend of diesel fuel and ethanol, with a blend stabilizer.  In the 2002 FERS, the City supported the ethanol-blended diesel trial that was lead by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CFRA).  However, data from laboratory testing and other sources indicated that, from an environmental benefit perspective, gains in reduced CAC emissions would likely be marginal at best.  The measured emission reductions of CAC’s were not substantial, totalling only 2% in a recent laboratory test.   Additionally, CO2, which is the bulk of vehicle exhaust gases, showed an increase along with CO and total HC. 


Other drawbacks identified with the implementation of E-diesel refuelling of the City fleet included:


·        significant cost and infrastructure changes to accommodate reclassification of fleet diesel fuel from a Class II (non-flammable) to a Class I (flammable), as a result of the subsequent change in fuel properties;

·        the likely voiding of warranties by the engine manufacturers, if E-diesel fuels were used in newly acquired vehicles;

·        an increase in fuel consumption of about 2%;

·        the diversion of limited resources from more environmentally promising projects; and

·        a lack of other government funding for the E-diesel project.


Consequently, City staff recently recommended that Council discontinue its support of the E-diesel project.  A detailed description of the rationale for this decision, and of the assessment of the bio-diesel alternative, can be found on the City website {Report to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee and Council - 6 Jan. 2004[9]}.


4.2.2    Biodiesel         Progress Achieved.

Fuels derived from renewable biological sources for use in diesel engines are known as biodiesel fuels.   Biodiesel is made by chemically combining any natural vegetable oil or fat with an alcohol, such as methanol or ethanol, and can be used in its pure form or as a blend with normal diesel fuel. 


The Montréal biodiesel trial[10], a CRFA initiative, was completed by the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) in 2003, after a demonstration period of one year.  The trial required 500,000 litres of biodiesel in two blends; i.e., B5 and B20, which had 5% and 20% respectively of biodiesel mixed in regular diesel fuel. 


The Montréal project demonstrated that biodiesel is a viable environmental fuel in areas where temperatures can reach as low as –30°C.  The environmental benefits were significant.  Relative to buses using regular, low-sulphur diesel fuel, CO2 emissions using biodiesel were reduced by 1%, whereas reductions for the CAC emissions ranged from a low of 5% for NOx to a high of 32% for CO.  Biodiesel typically has the added advantage of a higher lubricity and cetane rating, which generally translates into less engine wear and cleaner exhaust emissions.  There were no implementation-related changes required for any of the STM buses, including no requirements to review or change servicing and maintenance procedures.  Overall, the STM is sufficiently convinced of the benefits of biodiesel that it is considering a full conversion of its urban transit bus operations once the per litre cost becomes affordable in that province.


Implementation of biodiesel refuelling in Ottawa could provide a significant reduction in CAC emissions as well as over 1,000 tonnes of GHG annually, assuming the entire City diesel fleet was involved.  Implementation would essentially be immediate, if a local supplier guaranteed uninterrupted delivery to the City.  However, the most significant drawback relates to costs – currently a premium of from 4 to 8 cents a litre over regular diesel fuel would be expected.  As a result, conversion to biodiesel is considered to be cost prohibitive in Ottawa, at the present time.


City staff are, however, continuing to monitor the cost of biodiesel for possible future implementation, as well as other developments in this area.  For example, in western Canada, a research and demonstration project is currently underway to evaluate the commercial use of a 5% blend of canola biodiesel in the City of Saskatoon {City of Saskatoon - BioBus[11]}.  Characteristics to be assessed include emissions, fuel consumption, and engine wear.  This project is funded by the federal government, the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission and others, with the City of Saskatoon providing an in-kind contribution of its buses and other resources. 


4.2.3    Diesel Engine Retrofits         Progress achieved.

Current diesel emission reduction technologies are designed to either improve control at the combustion stage within the cylinder or via after-treatment of engine emissions.  Typically these technologies are incorporated into new buses and can often be used to retrofit older buses. 


Existing retrofit technologies consist of:

1.      Particulate trap, consisting of a filter positioned in the exhaust stream that collects particulate emissions as the exhaust gases pass through the system.   Diesel particulate filter systems can reduce PM emissions by 50-90 % and cost about $7,500 per unit.  Particulate traps were first tested in the City fleet in 1991 and are currently installed in the City’s newest articulated buses. 

2.      Oxidation catalysts utilize an inner substrate structure, coated with catalytic precious metals to initiate a chemical reaction in the exhaust stream thereby oxidizing pollutants into water vapour and other gases.  Oxidation catalysts typically reduce PM by 20%, CO by 40% and HC by 50%, and cost about $2,400.  The first City trials of catalytic devices started in 1994 and they have been installed on the City’s new vehicles since 1997. 

3.       Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) retrofits recycle a portion of the exhaust back to the engine air intake effectively diluting the oxygen content in the combustion chamber thereby lowering flame temperature.  As a result, NOx formation is reduced by as much as 40%.  The EGR stream must be reduced or eliminated under high load conditions, to prevent an air-fuel ratio at or below the smoke limit; i.e., the minimum ratio required for complete combustion.  EGR retrofits can cost up to $15,000, and have the added disadvantage of producing more soot, because of the reduced oxygen concentration and subsequent low temperature burn.  New city articulated buses are equipped with EGR systems.


City staff are currently considering a new retrofit initiative launched by Environment Canada in collaboration with CUTA (Canadian Urban Transit Association), aimed at reducing emissions from a limited number of older transit buses.  The scope of the program is the replacement of the conventional mufflers on Detroit 6V92 series engines, for model years 1990 though 1993, with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) mufflers.  The City currently has in revenue service over 150 candidate buses.  This program would require the City to absorb the cost of the installations, while CUTA would provide the DOC mufflers, funded by Environment Canada.  The City will participate to the maximum extent allowed by the program. 


4.2.4    Ethanol Gasoline        Progress achieved.

Ethanol -- or ethyl alcohol -- can be produced from agricultural feedstocks such as corn, wheat and barley, or from renewable cellulosic materials such as forestry waste and agricultural residues.  Low-level ethanol blends can be used in most gasoline engines with no engine or fuel system modifications required, and is commercially available in the Ottawa region.  The environmental benefits of using ethanol-blended gasoline include a net reduction in ground-level, ozone-forming emissions.  Additionally, significantly less HC, CO and CO2 are emitted in vehicle applications when compared to conventional gasoline;  i.e., 7%, 20-30% and 4% respectively, for E-10 gasoline -- a blend of 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent gasoline.

In 2002, the City began conversion of the fleet gasoline refuelling sites to E-10 {City of Ottawa News Release[12] - 5 June 2002}.  To date, 12 sites have been converted, which represents the major portion of gasoline dispensed from City fuel sites.   There have been no reported vehicle problems resulting from the use of E-10 gasoline.  By shifting from the use of traditional gasoline to E-10 at all of the refuelling sites, City vehicles will expel about 240 fewer tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, in addition to reducing City smog.

Conversion of City sites will result in an annual recurring cost of approximately $80,000, based on a $0.0251/L premium for E-10 gasoline.  There is also minor one-time site improvement costs for tank cleaning and filter installations at each refuelling site. 


4.2.5    Preparatory Work to Implement the Mid-Term Strategy   Completed.

The centrepiece of the mid-term component of the FERS is the procurement of hybrid diesel-electric buses, beginning in 2007.  Section 4.3 provides information related to our continued monitoring and re-assessment of this technology, and implementation progress in other jurisdictions. 


Preparatory work to implement hybrid technology in Ottawa has been completed since the FERS was launched in 2002.  A phased approach to hybrid bus implementation, the Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan[13] {Item No.1 of Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee Report 55}, was approved in principle by City Council in September of 2003. 


The primary objective of Phase 1 - the Hybrid Technology and Feasibility Study - is to assess the feasibility of the program and to select, through an independent study, the appropriate hybrid diesel-electric technology that will best meet the requirements for transit service.  The configuration of the hybrid design and the selection of certain components will then determine the type and level of activities applicable to subsequent phases of the plan.  The scope of the feasibility study will include:


(i)         demonstration of available hybrid bus designs and operational trials,

(ii)        analysis of the costs (capital, operating and life cycle) and performance results,

(iii)       recommendation of the hybrid configuration for subsequent acquisition,

(iv)       identification (and costing) of the major infrastructure changes required, and

(v)        continued public and government consultations and notifications.


City staff recently applied for federal funding assistance for the Phase 1 study via the Green Municipal Enabling Fund (GMEF)[14].  This fund is accessible through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.  It provides  federal government grants to support feasibility studies that target projects showing potential for significant improvements in environmental performance.  GMEF grants cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, which for the Phase 1 study are estimated to be $250,000.  The application is a two-step process.  The project summary was initially accepted by the FCM in October of 2003, as meeting the mandatory criteria of the Funds.  A detailed application was subsequently submitted by City staff thereby allowing a complete evaluation of the proposed project.   It is anticipated that the submission will be considered for final approval by the Green Funds Council in April 2004.

In preparation for the Phase 1 study, letters were sent out in December of 2003, to hybrid diesel-electric drive and bus suppliers, inviting them to participate in the Ottawa demonstration in 2004.  All known North American hybrid builders were solicited including Orion Bus Industries, builders of the New York City hybrids, and New Flyer Industries, the City’s current conventional bus supplier and winners of the recent Seattle hybrid bus order (Section 4.3.1).   Suppliers of both series and parallel hybrid drive configurations were solicited, in addition to E-traction, a European supplier of a hybrid drive that offers direct drive via electric motorized wheel hubs.  Response to this initial invitation has been very positive.    


A decision point will be reached at the end of Phase 1 whereby City Council will be requested to approve continuation of the Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan, based on results of the subject feasibility study, which will be presented in a subsequent detailed report.  Continuation of the implementation plan would then be executed in the following three remaining phases: 


Phase 2 - Hybrid Bus Acquisition (2005-2007):  Phase 2 pertains to hybrid bus acquisition and is comprised of a series of tasks similar to those applicable to a conventional diesel bus acquisition.  Because new technologies are being introduced, the detailed hybrid configuration and design will only be known through actual procurement, before infrastructure changes are initiated.  Phase 2 will begin in the latter half of 2005, with the preparation of the specification and issuance of the Request for Proposal.  Once a supplier is selected through the competitive bid process, the procurement will be paused for about one year to allow preparation activities of Phase 3 to take place, before production and deliveries of the hybrids begin in 2007.


Phase 3 - Preparations to Introduction (2006-2007):  Phase 3 of the plan relates to the infrastructure changes that will be necessary to support the selected hybrid technology, including preparing the work force for this transition.  Personnel training and the preparation of supplementary support documentation will be required to accommodate the specialized skills needed to maintain the hybrid fleet; e.g., battery charging and maintenance procedures.  Operator training will be required to accommodate the performance characteristics of the selected hybrid, such as regenerative braking.  This phase will also include the acquisition of hybrid specific support equipment such as electric motor repair tools, battery chargers, etc.  Additionally, bus storage and garage modifications will probably be necessary to support the hybrid buses. 


Phase 4 - Hybrid Bus Performance Analysis (2007-2008):  The objective of Phase 4 of the implementation plan is to validate the performance characteristics of the selected hybrid bus design against the requirements specification.  A performance analysis will be carried out using an evaluation plan and test matrix developed during Phase 2.   A comparison to data collected from in-service hybrids in other cities will also be completed.  An important part of this phase will be performance assessment under Ottawa winter conditions.


Further information pertaining to the hybrid program, including the expected costs, can be found in the previously referenced City link to the Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan.  Current efforts also include the investigation of potential external funding sources for Phases 2 through 4 of the planned project.


4.2.6    Execution of the Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan   New initiative.

The inherent evolution resulting from Council’s approval in principle of the Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan is incremental execution of the plan.  As such, implementation becomes a new short-term objective of the FERS.  The phased approach of the plan ensures that appropriate consultations, with public and other governments, can be completed.  It also ensures that, either through the budget cycle or related reports to Council, implementation will be subject to proper levels of examination and that Council approval will be required to proceed.  For example, Phase 1 of the plan was approved through the 2004 Budget review as a new program 902996 called “Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan”.

4.2.7    Corporate Vehicle and Equipment Idling Policy                  Completed.

Since the launch of the FERS, the City has implemented a Corporate Vehicle and Equipment Idling Policy[15], to reduce vehicle idling time thereby alleviating unnecessary emissions.  This policy was predicated on the significant reduction in emissions achievable by a relatively simple operational change, and by the potential additional impact of private vehicle owners in the City following this example.  If each City vehicle could reduce idling by as little as 5 minutes per day, the City would save as much as 143,000 litres of fuel per year, which would reduce GHG emission by approximately 384 tonnes, at a fuel cost savings of about $80,000.  


The main requirement of this policy is for City vehicles to be shut off whenever idling time is expected to exceed one minute.  For the transit buses, special procedures are in place to prevent engine overheating and failure to start, and to accommodate a space heating requirement.  On hot days (above 25°C), when the waiting period exceeds 10 minutes, the bus is shut down after idling for 3 minutes.  On mild days, buses are idled for one minute, and then shut down.  On cold colds (below -5°C), the buses are not shut down. 


The idling policy was supported by a public relations campaign that included bus advertisement, application of decals on all City vehicles and exposure on the City web site.


4.3       MID-TERM (4 to 10 years)

The mid-term component of the FERS described in this section includes the initiatives originally approved in the 2002 FERS.  Additionally, monitoring of compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel option has continued since the 2002 FERS and an updated assessment of this option is also presented in this section.


4.3.1    Introduction of Hybrid Diesel-Electric Technology into the Transit Fleet             Progress achieved.

Since the 2002 FERS was approved, City staff have continued to monitor the developments of hybrid diesel-electric technology and to assess their performance in other jurisdictions. 


New York City Hybrid Bus Experience


The most significant user of hybrid buses to date has been New York City Transit (NYCT). 


In 1998, NYCT began operating 10 heavy-duty, 40-foot, hybrid diesel-electric buses, from Orion Bus Industries (prototype Model VI), as part of a pilot project sponsored by the US Department of Energy.   Subsequent to the successful pilot project, the next generation Orion VII hybrid passed the structural and in-service qualification testing required by NYCT, clearing the way for deliveries of 325 hybrid buses beginning in 2003.  Currently, about 125 Orion VIIs are in revenue service in New York City.


The diesel engine of a hybrid bus is smaller than a standard transit diesel engine and consequently fuel consumption and exhaust emissions are reduced.  Similarly, during periods of acceleration, the electric drive typically dominates thereby providing improved emission reduction and fuel economy.  Additionally, zero emissions can be obtained for short durations on certain hybrid configurations, by running on battery power.  Hybrid buses also employ regenerative braking technology, which decreases fuel consumption by recycling energy that otherwise would be lost during braking.  Current indications are that improvements in exhaust emissions and fuel economy will be substantial with hybrid buses, as demonstrated in tests performed by Environment Canada, using the hybrid and conventional diesel buses in service at NYCT. 


The following hybrid performance improvements were determined by Environment Canada:


·        CO2 was reduced by 38%,

·        49% reduction for NOx,

·        60% reduction for PM,

·        38% reduction for CO, and

·        fuel consumption was reduced by 59%.


On an individual bus basis, these results show a CO2 reduction of over 1 kg for every mile driven, for the hybrid bus as compared to the conventional diesel.  For the Ottawa transit bus fleet, a 38% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would translate to an annual reduction of about 32,000 tonnes of emitted GHG, once the fleet is completely converted to hybrid technologies.  This reduction represents about 30% of the CO2 that the City’s gasoline and diesel fleets produce annually, and over 1% of all greenhouse gases emitted annually in the City of Ottawa. 

For the New York City buses, fuel consumption, determined across all test cycles during dynamometer emissions testing, showed a potential reduction for the hybrid buses of from 23 to 64%, compared to diesel buses of the same age.  For a new hybrid fleet in Ottawa, a potential reduction in fuel consumption of at least 25% can be reasonably expected.  Additionally, the potential for temporary zero-emissions capability could reduce fuel consumption beyond the expected 25%. 

Recent Hybrid Transit Bus Procurement

Several communities in the US have operated hybrid buses as part of demonstration and evaluation programs.  However, the most significant new procurement is in Seattle Washington, where 213 new 60-foot articulated buses, equipped with a General Motors Allison drive system, are being provided by New Flyer Industries, with first deliveries expected in 2004.  These buses will also be required to provide service through a downtown transit tunnel, where quiet operation and reduced emissions are required. 


Costs and Projected Recovery


The higher capital costs of hybrid diesel-electric buses remains as a significant deterrent to widespread use.  For example, the cost premium for both the New York City Orion VII hybrids and Seattle’s New Flyer hybrids was about 45%.  The primary contributors to the added costs are: (i) a more sophisticated electronic control system, (ii) battery packs for energy storage, (iii) the electric drive motor(s), and (iv) supplier recovery of R&D costs.  It is expected that costs will decline as the technology matures and as more units are produced.  It is also likely that hybrid buses will have lower operating costs, primarily because of reduced fuel consumption and longer brake lining life. The fuel savings alone are quite significant indicating that the City could recoup its additional capital costs within the lifetime of the bus.  However, partially offsetting cost savings will be more expensive component costs, including battery replacement.  Additional infrastructure costs are also required to accommodate the electric drive system.  These infrastructure changes, however, would also be required for the long-term component of the FERS. 


One of the objectives of the Phase 1 study is to better define these costs including a comparison of both capital and operational costs for each diesel-electric design to be demonstrated.   Additionally, City staff will continue to seek maximum government subsidies at both federal and provincial levels, to meet the incremental cost for the hybrid buses.  The introduction of the municipal gas tax refund program for transportation is one example that could benefit hybrid bus implementation. 


Recommend Continued Implementation


Hybrid diesel-electric buses are regarded as a transitional vehicle, as they easily co-exist with today’s conventional diesel buses, but also allow a more seamless transition to the planned zero-emissions fleet of the future (Section 4.4).  That is, because of their use of diesel fuel and compression-ignition engines, many refuelling, operational and maintenance activities will be unchanged.  Conversely, infrastructure changes required to accommodate the new electric drive train, including new maintenance skills and health/safety expertise, will also be applicable to zero-emission fuel cell vehicles.


Because of these transitional characteristics, hybrid diesel-electric buses remain as the most practicable means for the City to meet CAC and GHG emissions requirements.  This conclusion is also consistent with the significant hybrid bus investments undertaken by both New York City and Seattle.   Consequently, work has progressed on the planning for the initial procurement of 46 hybrid diesel-electric buses, beginning in 2007 (Phase 2 of the Hybrid Bus Implementation Plan). 


4.3.2    Preparatory Work to Implement the Long-Term Strategy Not Initiated. 

Preparatory work to implement fuel cell technology in the transit fleet has not been initiated because this technology is not yet commercially available.  However, as described in Section 4.4, City staff will continue to monitor developments in this area.

Remaining Barriers to Commercialization

The most significant challenge to the commercialization of fuel cell technology continues to be infrastructure.  Hydrogen is the world’s most abundant fuel and is found in several forms including water, oil, natural gas and biomass.  However, providing a cost-effective source of pure hydrogen, which must compete favourably with today’s petroleum-based fuel supplies, is a significant challenge.  The economical and safe delivery and storage of hydrogen, either as a compressed gas, a super-cooled liquid, or as a solid -- in metal hydride form -- is a considerable barrier to commercialization. 

With regards to the fuel cell stack, cost is still a significant factor, primarily because of the expensive polymer membranes and precious metals that are required for the catalysts.  Whilst the cost has decreased dramatically in recent years, further reductions are required before the stacks are commercially viable.  Additionally, the performance, reliability and durability of fuel cell systems have yet to be proven, particularly in a transit bus environment.  However, the ongoing bus demonstration projects that incorporate fuel cells bode well for the continued development of this technology.


4.3.3    Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Alternative Fuel  Not recommended.


CNG is presently the most common alternative to conventional diesel-powered buses, particularly in the U.S.  CNG was assessed in the 2002 FERS, but was considered to be unviable primarily because of infrastructure capital costs; i.e., $22M - $100M per site.  Other factors that tended to rule out CNG were:


§         on-board storage limitations for CNG, which is dependent on high-pressure gas cylinders that are heavy and expensive, and require periodic inspection,

§         the special training and licensing requirements for mechanics, and

§         the storage and maintenance safety requirements necessitated because of the lighter-than-air characteristics of natural gas.


Additionally, the advantage of CNG buses relative to conventional diesel is diminishing because of the emergence of clean diesel technology (Section 3.2), the added capital cost of CNG buses (i.e., a premium of up to 18%), and because of the rising costs of natural gas.   As well, as a transition vehicle leading to zero exhaust emissions using electric propulsion based on fuel-cell technology, conversion to CNG offers no strategic advantage over hybrid diesel-electric. 


The results of emissions testing of NYCT buses, as performed by Environment Canada, are discussed in Section 4.3.1.  A similar emissions testing program for the U.S. Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium (NAVC), using the West Virginia University chassis dynamometer laboratory, was also conducted on the NYCT buses; this program included a comparison to alternative fuel CNG buses.  The results of NAVC testing[16] demonstrated that emissions reduction using hybrid-diesel electric technology is generally comparable to CNG technology.  In fact, in most-cases, the hybrids set the performance benchmark for all buses tested.  The NAVC results also demonstrated that, when operated under severe duty cycles, the performance of the hybrid buses was significantly superior to that of the CNG buses; e.g., a 90% reduction in CO emissions using hybrid as compared to CNG, a 70% improvement in fuel economy and a 20% reduction in CO2.  


In summary, City staff’s recommendation not to pursue alternative fuel CNG buses has not changed since the 2002 FERS.  This decision is also consistent with reports that the City of Toronto will not be adding to their fleet of 150 CNG buses, primarily because of the high cost of building new CNG refuelling terminals, and because of major CNG bus maintenance problems[17].   Instead, the Toronto Transit Commission is optimistic that their next major bus procurement will feature hybrid diesel-electric technology.



4.4       LONG-TERM (11 to 20 years)      Not Initiated.


4.4.1    Zero Emission Fuel Cell Technology


The long-term component of the FERS is conversion of the transit bus fleet to zero tailpipe emissions, using electric propulsion based on fuel cell technology. City staff have continued to monitor the developments in fuel cell technology for propulsion systems. 


Hydrogen fuel cells continue to be recognized as the most promising technology for powering the world’s fleet of ground vehicles and eliminating dependency on fossil fuels.  Electric propulsion based on fuel cell technology is based on the separation of hydrogen electrons (using a catalyst and atmospheric oxygen) to produce electricity, the by-products of which are water and heat.  When fuelled with pure hydrogen, either in a liquid or gaseous form, a fuel cell emits no pollutants and in particular no GHG.


4.4.2    Fuel Cell Technology: Recent Developments         

Significant progress has been made in the development and demonstration of this technology.  Arguably the most noteworthy new demonstration transit bus project is the European Fuel Cell Bus Project[18], where Ballard Power Systems - of Burnaby, BC - is supplying 205 kW fuel cell engines, for use in 30 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses.  These buses will be operated under revenue service conditions in ten different European cities, and as of December 2003, have operated for more than 5,700 hours and have traveled over 83,000 kilometres[19]. 

The federal government is also investing in the development of fuel cell technology for transit buses.  In 2002, Natural Resources Canada announced a three-year project to develop and deploy new fuel-cell hybrid bus technology {Natural Resources Canada - News Release 2002/142[20], Natural Resources Canada - News Release 2002/142a[21]}.  For this project, Hydrogenics will develop a 180 kW fuel cell system for integration into a New Flyer bus.  Integration of the fuel-cell system and performance testing at Winnipeg Transit is expected to be completed by March 2005.

Fuel cell development in the automobile sector parallels the transit bus industry, as exemplified by the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show, where the greatest number of fuel cell vehicles ever assembled under one roof were showcased[22].  Original equipment manufactures displaying fuel cell vehicles included all of the major Japanese manufactures, in addition to North American suppliers.  General Motors is perhaps the most “ambitions or optimistic with their commercialization plans, which may happen toward the latter part of the 2010-2020 time frame.” 

Long-Term Feasibility

Given the dramatic environmental and potential economic benefits of using hydrogen fuel, it is highly probable that current barriers to commercialization will be resolved in the long-term.  Consequently, it is recommended that the conversion of the City transit bus fleet to fuel cell technology remains as the long-term component of the 2004 FERS.




An updated FERS is required that accommodates new initiatives and technological advances, and that reflects progress achieved since the 2002 FERS was approved.  The following updated FERS is recommended:


Ø      Short-Term (within 3 years)


(i)      Monitor the cost of biodiesel for possible future implementation in the transit fleet, if economically feasible.


(ii)     Participate in future government-led retrofit programs -- targeting older buses in the fleet -- that employ proven technologies for emission reductions, subject to the availability of City resources and external funding. 


(iii)    Implement the multi-phased plan for conversion of the transit bus fleet to hybrid diesel-electric technology




Ø      Mid-Term (4-10 years)


(i)      Introduce hybrid diesel-electric buses in transit service.


(ii)     Conduct preparatory work to implement the long-term strategy.



Ø      Long-Term (11-20 years)


(i)      Convert the transit bus fleet to electric drive vehicles when fuel-cell technology is fully developed and commercially available.




[1] http://www.ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/ttc/2002/03-20/ACS2002-CRS-FLT-0001.htm

[2] http://www.ec.gc.ca/air/introduction_e.html

[3] http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/ghg/kyoto_protocol_e.cfm

[4] http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/105789.htm&Language=E

[5] City transit buses range in age from recently purchased to about 30 years of age, for the oldest buses.

[6] http://www.driveclean.com/

[7]  Opacity is a measure of the amount of light that is blocked by the particulate matter in smoke.

[8] http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2002/03-27/ttc-20/ACS2002-CRS-FLT-0001.htm

[9] http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2004/01-28/csedc/ACS2004-CRS-FLT-0001.htm

[10] http://www.greenfuels.org/a-biobus.htm

[11] http://www.city.saskatoon.sk.ca/org/transit/biobus.asp

[12] http://ottawa.ca/cgi-bin/pressco.pl?&Elist=514&lang=en

[13] http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2003/09-24/csedc/ACS2003-CRS-FLT-0004.htm

[14] http://kn.fcm.ca/ev.php?URL_ID=2825&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201&reload=1043178382

[15] http://moe/main/me_corp/policies/doc32_en.asp

[16] http://www.navc.org/Navc9837.pdf

[17]  Kevin McGran, TTC Planning Switch to Hybrid Bus, Toronto Star, 13 Feb. 2004.

     Diesel Fuel News, Another Major City Sours on CNG, Page 6, 14 August 2000.

[18] http://www.h2cars.biz/artman/publish/article_361.shtml

[19] Canada is a pioneer in demonstrating fuel cell transit buses.  In 2000, buses powered by Ballard® fuel cell engines successfully completed two years of field-testing in Vancouver.

[20] http://www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/media/newsreleases/2002/2002142_e.htm

[21] http://www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/media/newsreleases/2002/2002142a_e.htm

[22] Automotive Engineering International, Concepts from Tokyo, page 8, December 2003.