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First Electric Buses Hit The Road In Sunbury

08 October 2022

The Andrews Labor Government’s push towards a cleaner and more sustainable Melbourne bus fleet has taken another major step with the first three electric buses as part of the Zero Emissions Bus Trial hitting the road in Sunbury.

Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said the Labor Government’s $20 million Zero Emissions Bus (ZEB) Trial will inform the transition of about 4,000 diesel buses in the state’s public fleet, including around 2,200 in regional Victoria, to zero emissions.

From 2025, all new buses on Victoria’s public transport routes will be zero emissions.

Bus operator Donric is introducing the three zero emission electric buses on existing routes in and around Sunbury – the first buses in Victoria to use solid-state Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) batteries rather than the more common lithium-ion batteries used in other electric vehicles.

Donric is one of six operators across Victoria taking part in the three-year ZEB Trial which will see 52 zero emission buses – 50 electric and two hydrogen – rolled out across Melbourne, Traralgon and Seymour.

Data collected will provide practical information such as how zero emission buses perform and the energy and charging requirements for different types of routes. It will also give insights into how the buses can improve financial and environmental sustainability.

The trial is also fostering vital local industry partnerships – such as with energy providers and manufacturers – that will be needed to achieve the transition across the state.

Almost all the electric bus bodies in the trial will be built at Volgren’s Dandenong South manufacturing facility in Victoria, supporting local jobs and injecting money into the local economy.

The Labor Government accelerated its transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet in October 2021 after awarding Melbourne-based Kinetic the franchise to run a third of the metropolitan bus network.

Kinetic will introduce 36 electric buses to the Melbourne fleet by mid-2025, adding to the 52 zero emissions buses being introduced through the ZEB trial.

Creating a greener fleet is part of Victoria’s Bus Plan, developing a modern and reliable network that attracts more passengers, with the new, greener buses critical to the Labor Government’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll

“We’re investing in greener technologies, supporting local manufacturing and providing passengers with quieter and more comfortable journeys as we drive down pollution and remove noisy diesel buses from our public network for good.”

Quote attributable to Member for Sunbury Josh Bull

“Buses are a critical link in Sunbury’s public transport network, so having these greener, cleaner and quieter buses on our roads is going to make a big difference as the trial progresses.”

Reviewed 09 October 2022

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