Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure and pride that I announce the distinct achievement of the Department of Public Transportation team who won the Best E-Mobility Project Award at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) for the progress of the electrification of the public bus fleet. This is a significant accomplishment for the Department and Bermuda and a testament to our commitment towards a more sustainable future.
2023 marks the fifth year that the industry awards were presented at the CREF. Bermuda stood tall amongst the industry elite in the Caribbean with awards issued in ten categories. It is an honour to be recognized as a leader in the Caribbean energy sector. New Energy, the host of the CREF, considers those who have won, leaders “who are making a lasting impact on the development of resilient and renewable energy systems in the region. Many award winners are first-movers, carving a path for project development in the region.”
Mr Speaker, the E-Mobility Project Award, presented on April 27, 2023, recognizes the most innovative and sustainable project in the Caribbean region that promotes the use of electric vehicles and their associated charging infrastructure. The Department’s e-mobility initiative was selected from a pool of highly competitive projects, and we are honored to be recognized as a leader in this field. This award is a recognition of our collective efforts towards a more sustainable future, and we will continue to work tirelessly towards achieving our goals.
Mr. Speaker, we salute the purchase and the one-year anniversary of the operation of electric buses in Bermuda on April 4, 2022. I am delighted to report the level of momentum we have gained in the past year towards a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable transportation system.
The introduction of the electric buses has had a significant impact on Bermuda, both environmentally and economically. These buses have reduced our carbon footprint, helped improve air quality, and have also provided a more comfortable and quieter mode of transportation for the people of Bermuda and our visitors.
One of the most significant benefits of these electric buses is their contribution towards reducing our carbon footprint. Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in the reduction of CO2 emissions of 440 tons in the past year alone. This is a remarkable achievement, and we are proud to have taken this important step towards a more sustainable future.
Moreover, the introduction of the electric buses has had a positive financial impact. By investing in electric buses over diesel, we have saved $222,000 per bus. Additionally, we have reduced our dependency on fossil fuels, saving $176,000.
Mr Speaker, the feedback from the people of Bermuda has been overwhelmingly positive. The electric buses are more comfortable, quieter, and have improved the overall public transportation experience. We are proud to provide a more sustainable, efficient, and convenient mode of transportation for the public. We will continue to work towards expanding and improving our public transportation system, which of course is signified by the next set of 40 electric buses arriving in groups of ten from July 2023.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my sincere gratitude to everyone who has made it possible for Bermuda to achieve such a significant milestone of successfully progressing towards the full electrification of the public bus fleet. Most importantly, I would like to thank, the Department of Public Transportation, the Department of Energy, our partners RMI, and the public of Bermuda. We have come a long way in the past year, and we are committed to continuing our efforts towards a greener and more sustainable Bermuda. We encourage everyone to embrace these changes and support our collective vision for a cleaner and more sustainable future.
Mr Speaker, Thank you.