A new bus fleet will arrive in Sydney next month, but they won’t be Australia’s typical diesel-fuelled buses.
The nation’s largest fleet of electric buses will be deployed onto the streets of Sydney from November under a new pilot program backed by the federal government.
The 40 new vehicles will run off electricity from the power grid, and will be rechargeable from local charging stations as needed.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the NSW program would act as a trial to explore the viability of electric buses for the whole of Australia.
“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,” Mr Taylor said.
While the electric buses come with higher upfront costs, over the lifetime of the vehicle their costs are competitive with traditional buses.
Electric buses are also quieter and produce significantly less air pollution than their diesel counterparts.
The first 12 of the 40 new electric buses will start entering service in Sydney’s Inner-West this month, with the rest of the fleet arriving over the next six months.
NSW Transport Minister Rob Stokes welcomed the new project, noting it would come at no extra cost to state taxpayers.
“We’ve set an ambitious target to transition our fleet of 8000 buses to zero emission technology by 2030 and this project is a huge step in that direction,” Mr Stokes 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.”
Mr Stokes said the project would also include the refurbishment of one of Sydney’s largest bus depots.
“We will also upgrade the infrastructure at the Leichhardt depot, shifting from diesel pumps to smart charging stations, solar panels and large scale energy storage.”
The electric bus trial is being delivered through a joint venture between private companies Transgrid and Zenobe, with support from the NSW and federal government.
The federal government will contribute $29.5 million to the project.
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