NSW energises industry with plan for electric bus fleet

The New South Wales state government has galvanised the bus manufacturing sector pledging to switch to an all electric bus fleet as part of the government’s privatisation plans.

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said in a statement that zero-emission buses are becoming the global standard with the significant environmental, health and operational cost benefits.

Constance said: “Making the switch to an entirely electric bus fleet will deliver huge benefits to the community in terms of reducing air and noise pollution, as well as our incredible drivers.

“As part of this process, we will challenge the industry to begin an ambitious transformation of our bus fleet from particulate emitting diesel to zero-emission buses.”

NSW is contracting to the private sector the operation of the last three government-run bus regions in Sydney.

With the state continuing to own assets including buses, swift electrification is possible, although Constance made no mention of a timetable or budget.

There are a small number of electric buses operating in Australia with the lure of replacing Sydney’s 8,000 strong bus fleet to spur competition.

In 2015 a joint venture of Queensland’s Bustech and Adelaide’s Precision Buses brought to market Australia’s first designed, engineered and manufactured electric bus (main picture). It underwent trials in Dubai.

And in May this year Melbourne manufacturer Volgren produced its first electric bus (below) built on a chassis made in China by electric bus leader BYD.

Picture: Bustech

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