The Australian Government is backing the nation’s largest fleet of electric buses through a pilot program that will see 40 new vehicles deployed across Sydney.
The project will be an Australian-first, transitioning diesel buses to electric. It will also upgrade the charging infrastructure and retrofit the bus depot in Leichhardt, NSW.
The government is supporting the pilot with a $29.5 million investment. This includes $24.5 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and $5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The project is being delivered through a joint venture between Transgrid and Zenobe, with support from Transit Systems and Transport for NSW.
The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the Australian and NSW governments are working together to reduce emissions through a focus on technology and testing innovative commercial models.
‘This project demonstrates the importance of governments and industry working together to reduce emissions in hard to abate sectors like road and transport,’ the Minister said.
‘The aim of the pilot is to show the technical and commercial viability of using electric buses travelling a full route without the need to stop to recharge along the way.
‘This significant investment will establish the nation’s first fully-integrated electric bus depot, allowing other fleet operators to better understand commercial implications and make informed choices about new technologies.’
NSW Minister for Transport, Rob Stokes said NSW is leading the way with the largest fleet of electric buses in Australia.
‘We’ve set an ambitious target to transition our fleet of 8,000 buses to zero emission technology by 2030 and this project is a huge step in that direction,’ the NSW Minister said.
‘The innovative financing model adopted means we’re able to deliver 40 new electric buses for the Inner West quickly, at no extra cost to the NSW taxpayer.’
The Leichhardt depot retrofit will include a combination of:
- 324 kWh and 422 kWh batteries
- 5 x 120 kW electric bus chargers capable of charging 2 buses at a time
- 31 x 80 kW electric bus chargers
- 2.5 MW / 4.9 MWh of stationary battery storage
- 388 kW of rooftop solar PV.
The electric buses will be supported by innovative software, including on-board telematics that provide critical vehicle data and help manage chargers, batteries, solar and grid input.
The first 12 of the 40 new buses will start entering service this month, with the rest of the fleet arriving over the next 6 months.