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Electric Transition, Environmental Legacy Fund

Electric Transition

In order to reach "net zero" all forms of combustion must be electrified; one item that is quite simple to change is the internal combustion engine. Most TDSB vehicles and tools are presently powered by either gasoline or diesel engines. Fleet GHG emissions represent about 3% of the TDSB’s total emissions.

Electric Vehicles

Fleet Vehicles

The 2021 Climate Action Report signalled the intention to start procuring fully electric vehicles to add to the TDSB’s fleet of more than 700 vehicles. Using the Environmental Legacy Fund to cover the difference in cost to an ICE vehicle, 4 vehicles were approved.

In support of construction projects, the TDSB has rented 4 electric panel vans that will operate out of Oakburn Centre. These are in addition to the 4 vans that were purchased in 2022.



The TDSB’s transition to electric school buses will begin with a pilot project on the Toronto Islands. In September 2024, five electric school buses will replace the diesel- powered buses that currently service the Toronto Public/Natural Science School. To support this transition, an electric charging station will be installed at the Island School, funded by the Environmental Legacy Fund.

Charging Infrastructure

Since our first Annual Climate Action Report in 2021, 27 parking lots have been or are in the process of being replaced, and all of them include electrical conduit. The conduit will facilitate installation of EV charging stations without having to remove asphalt to install the wiring. Future installations will be easier and far less expensive. Conduit will continue to be installed in all future parking lot replacement projects.

The TDSB and Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) staff have submitted a grant proposal to The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) for funding to assess its building portfolio to leverage opportunities to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging in parking lots for TDSB fleet and staff, as well as to the broader community, to use.

Power Tools

Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers are a source of GHG emissions that also generate hazardous toxic and carcinogenic exhaust and fine particulate matter. Extensive evidence exists on the adverse health effects of exhaust emissions and other fine particulates, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer.15 At the same time, the technology of cordless electric power tools, particularly for push mowers, leaf blowers and string trimmers, is mature.

In 2023, caretakers at five schools have been using a variety of brands of commercial- grade battery-operated lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, and hedge trimmers. The equipment has been rotated every few weeks so that caretakers have a chance to use all the brands. After each round, caretakers complete an online assessment of the equipment.