Electric Bus Trial Hitting The Road In Sydney

Australia’s largest electric bus fleet is to hit the road in Sydney. The 40-bus fleet, along with charging infrastructure and a retrofitted bus depot, is earmarked for Leichardt in the city’s inner west.

The $37 million project is to be delivered by a joint venture between NSW-based transmission company Transgrid and UK energy company Zenobe, receiving funding and in-kind support from project partners including Transit Systems and Transport for NSW. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is also providing financing of $24.5 million, as is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to the tune of $5 million.

The aim of the three-year trial is to drive the commercialisation of electric buses in Australia and as part of the project, the Leichhardt depot is being retrofitted to accommodate the 40 electric buses – which will have a combination of 368kWh and 422kWh onboard batteries – with five 120kW electric bus chargers capable of charging two buses at a time, 31 80kW electric bus chargers, 2.5MW/4.9MWh of stationary batteries, and 387kW of rooftop solar PV. The electric bus fleet will service public bus routes in Sydney’s Inner West, the CBD, Mascot and Green Square.

“This project demonstrates the importance of governments and industry working together to reduce emissions in hard to abate sectors like road and transport,” said Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor in a statement.

“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.”

Previous electric bus trials in Australia have involved fewer than four buses each, making this trial important to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of the electrification of large depot-scale bus fleets capable of travelling a complete route without needing to be re-charged.

The first 12 of the 40 new electric buses began to enter service in October, with the rest of the fleet is scheduled to arrive over the next four months.


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