Queensland will build 16 of its own electric buses under a $15.6 million deal with local manufacturer, BusTech, and Keolis Downer which owns and operates a number of public transport services across the state.
Once complete the buses will depart from Queensland’s first 100 per cent electric bus depot powered by renewable energy, located in the suburb of North Lakes, north of Brisbane.
Over their lifetime the buses will save an estimated 13,846 tonnes of carbon emissions compared to their diesel chugging counterparts.
“The Palaszczuk government has made a commitment that by 2025 every new urban bus we add to the fleet in South East Queensland will be zero-emissions, by 2030 we’ll roll that out to the rest of the urban fleet,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
As well as helping create greener and quieter commuter options, the project is expected to add around 150 jobs over the next two years and inject $17 million into the local economy.
The Sunshine State is targeting 50 per cent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2030.
Brisbane saw its first electric bus hit the streets for a trial run in June of this year, with a fleet of 60 electric buses planned for the city through manufacturing deals in Europe and China.
NSW’s first locally manufactured electric bus rolled out for a trial in March between Bondi Beach and Bronte, the first of 50 new electric buses planned for Sydney this year out of an 8000-strong fleet currently running on diesel fuel and compressed natural gas.
Electric buses offer savings of up to $50,000 a year compared to diesel and NSW plans to transition the rest of its fleet as part of its advanced manufacturing push over the coming years.
Meanwhile, Victoria completed four locally manufactured electric buses in March, built by Volgren for public transport giant Transdev.
At the time, Transdev chief executive Luke Agati said Australia was, “on the cusp of an e-mobility revolution in public transport.”
“We want to see more Australians travelling on zero-emissions electric and hydrogen powered buses, and we want Australian bus manufacturers to lead the journey with us,” he said.
Queensland minister, Lance McCallum, whose official title is assistant minister for hydrogen development and the 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, said while this round of buses will be electric, he was also keen for more renewable hydrogen in public transport.
The first of Queensland’s locally built electric buses is due to be delivered by the end of next year with the rest of the fleet expected before 2024.