A massive expansion in electric passenger buses will be enabled by the partnership of Keolis Downer, BusTech, and the Queensland government. Sixteen new electric buses will be built in the Bustech workshop on the Gold Coast to run on sunshine. The first one should be in operation within 12 months.
The buses will be charged and maintained at the North Lakes hub of Hornibrook Bus Lines owned by Keolis Downer. They will be charged by 100% renewable energy. Queensland has already committed to replacing urban buses moving out of service with electric buses by 2025, and equipping the whole fleet with electric buses by 2030. Electric buses and their depots will support Queensland’s renewable energy target of 50% by 2030.
Keolis Downer is committed to making public transport more sustainable and passenger friendly. It is a national company with almost 5000 employees. It would like customers to see sustainable public transport as the first and best option. In New South Wales, Keolis Downer plans to introduce 125 electric buses over the next 8 years.
The first of the Queensland buses, to be built by Bustech on the Gold Coast, should be delivered within 12 months, with the rest to follow by the end of 2023. Bustech describes itself as a provider of: “integrated transit solutions that enable the next generation of zero-emissions connected vehicles and infrastructure.”
Brisbane (capital of Queensland) is running trials of several electric buses at the moment. A driver recently commented that one of the issues involved was finding the space in current depots for the charging infrastructure.
The partnership between the state government and private companies Bustech and Keolis Downer is a win for the environment, a win for local jobs, and a win for Queensland in its rivalry with NSW.
Image courtesy of BusTech Group
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