Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF)

Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF): Grant for Electric Busses & Infrastructure

The Government of Canada is investing $2.75 billion over five years, starting in 2021, to support public transit and school bus operators plan for electrification. The Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF) delivers on the federal government’s commitment to help purchase 5,000 zero emission buses over the next five years and build supporting infrastructure, including charging infrastructure and facility upgrades for public transit.

Funding through the ZETF program is split between planning projects and capital projects.

All eligible expenses must be claimed before the programs ends on March 31, 2026. For businesses looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or adopt environmentally friendly new technologies be sure to view the cleantech funding programs available. Read on to find an overview of the ZETF program.

Funding Snapshot: Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF)

Amount of Funding:

ZETF offers two different funding streams depending on what stage your project is in:

  1. Planning Projects: Up to 80% of the total eligible costs in non-repayable contributions.
  2. Capital Projects: Up to 50% of total eligible costs in non-repayable contributions to a maximum of $350 million. Non-repayable contributions to for-profit entities will only be considered if project benefits accrue broadly (i.e. health and environmental benefits).

Eligible Applicants:

  • Municipalities, local and regional governments;
  • Provinces or Territories;
  • Public sector bodies (including transit agencies and school boards);
  • Indigenous governing bodies;
  • Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profits whose mandate is to improve Indigenous outcomes;
  • Indigenous development corporations;
  • Private sector school bus operators, in partnership with a public-school board or municipal/regional government;
  • Private accessible transit bus operators, in partnership with a transit agency or municipal/regional government; and
  • Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations (associations, NGOs, academic institutions).

Eligible Projects: Two project components eligible for funding:

  1. Planning Projects: Eligible projects include studies, modelling and feasibility analysis that will support the development of large-scale capital projects. Planning projects will ensure that transit and school bus operators have established a comprehensive electrification plan and are prepared to submit applications for capital projects under ZETF.
  2. Capital Projects: Eligible capital projects support zero emission buses (ZEB) deployment and include procurement of buses, charging and refuelling infrastructure, and other ancillary infrastructure needs. Retrofits of conventional fuel buses to ZEBs are also eligible.


Those eligible to apply for ZETF funding will go through a two-stages application process. The first stage will determine if your business is eligible for funding with those who move onto the second stage submitting a full project application to determine eligible project expenses, impacts, and timelines. Eligible expenses must be claimed before March 31, 2026, the program end date.

Apply for Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF) Funding:

This program is accepting applications on an ongoing basis for the next five years or until funding runs out. To get started with applying for this grant, contact Mentor Works team of government funding application writers for an estimated 95%-time savings when compared to applying in-house.

Register for an upcoming Canadian government funding webinar to learn more about the top upcoming grant and loan programs your business should be aware of. These events are free for all businesses and organizations to attend.

Register for A Canadian Government Funding Webinar

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