Boost for roll-out of electric buses in New South Wales

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency, ARENA, has provided $5million to support the pilot deployment of Australia’s largest electric bus fleet consisting of 40 electric buses, charging infrastructure and a retrofitted bus depot in Leichhardt in Sydney’s inner west district.

The $36million project is to be delivered by a joint venture between Transgrid and Zenobe with funding and support from project partners including Transit Systems and Transport for NSW.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is also providing $24.5million.

The three-year project aims to drive the commercialisation of electric buses in the country.

As part of the project, the Leichhardt depot is being retrofitted to include the use of 40 electric buses with a combination of 368kWh and 422kWh batteries, five 120kW electric bus chargers capable of charging two buses at a time, plus 31 80kW electric bus chargers, 2.5MW /4.9MWh of stationary batteries, and 387kW of rooftop solar PV. 

The new electric bus fleet will operate in Sydney’s Inner West, the CBD, Mascot and Green Square.

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO says: “Heavy vehicle transport is an important area to target given that together buses and trucks account for 25 per cent of transport related carbon emissions and five per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions.

“This trial represents the next step in helping to reduce emissions in public transport and heavy transport. We’re excited to be working alongside the consortium in showcasing this Australian-first initiative that we hope will kickstart the rollout of electric buses throughout the nation.”

The first 12 of the 40 new electric buses are entering service now with the balance being delivered over the next few months.

The first buses will be operated by Transit Systems, owned by SeaLink Travel, which is already running 15 electric buses in Sydney.

“Our customers are telling us they feel better on an electric bus – and that’s really important to us because it means sustainability isn’t just a trend or catch phrase – it’s a real vision that we can all connect on and work towards,” says said Sealink CEO Clint Feuerherdt.

Zenobē co-founder and director Steven Meersman adds: “Transgrid and Zenobe will be proudly showcasing what is possible when it comes to the delivery of zero emission transport and we commend Transit Systems on their commitment to producing more sustainable transport solutions.”