The Australian city of Canberra is now home to its first all-electric and hybrid buses, following the launch of a new 12-month public transportation fleet trial last Monday.
Photo by Rohan Thomson
This $900,000 trial involves the leasing of two all-electric buses from Carbridge and one hybrid bus from Volvo. The electric buses are being leased by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government. These all-electric and hybrid buses will see their performance gauged against ACTION’s existing fleet of diesel buses.
Following the trial, ACTION’s ageing fleet could actually be replaced entirely by either the all-electric buses or the hybrid ones, or perhaps a mix. The territory is currently aiming for emissions to be reduced to 40% of 1990 levels by the year 2020.
Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris commented: “This is a major part of our transition to more sustainable fuels in our public transport system.”
Canberra Times provides more: “Carbridge chief executive Luke Todd said while electric buses were more expensive up front, they paid themselves off in about four years. The company has six buses in operation at Sydney Airport, with another 11 on the way for Brisbane Airport, but Mr Todd said Canberra would be their first trial on public routes. … The electric buses can drive for 600 kilometres per charge in a straight line or about 430 kilometres on route operations.”
The electric buses will be recharged overnight at the Tuggeranong depot, where charging stations were installed a while back.
Public Transport Association of Canberra chair Damian Haas commented: “I think hybrid and electric buses are the technology of the future. Diesel bus technology has peaked so I think a 12-month trial to see how they work in Canberra’s fleet is a very good idea.”
Notably, plans are for a third all-electric bus to be added to the Canberra trial by the end of the year.
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