The NSW government has issued a call for expressions of interest to run trials of all-electric buses, ahead of a planned fleet-wide rollout.
In an announcement made on Monday, Transport for NSW says it is looking for proposals from companies that can conduct electric bus trials and work with bus operators across Sydney to plan for a wider switch.
“We have to meet our environmental challenges head-on and learn from cities around the world. We are committed to taking advantage of new technology that reduces the impact that current diesel buses have on air quality and people’s health,” Transport for NSW deputy secretary Elizabeth Mildwater said.
“We want to eventually transition the entire public transport bus fleet to zero emissions as part of our strategy to make public transport more sustainable into the future.”
Last year, NSW transport minister Andrew Constance announced that the NSW government planned to transition the entirety of the 8,000 strong NSW government controlled bus fleet to all-electric models.
“The experience of other leading European cities demonstrates that a rapid transition to zero-emission buses is possible, and I have asked Transport for NSW to work with operators and bus suppliers to develop a plan to transition our fleet as part of the tender process,” Constance said at the time.
As part of the plan, the NSW government is now looking for participants to trial all-electric, as well as hydrogen-fuelled buses, to begin the process of evaluating alternative models.
The NSW government said that it had transitioned to the next stage of the process, after completing a successful ‘market sounding’ approach last year, which found a high level of interest from bus providers and transport operators.
The trials will also help identify the necessary supporting infrastructure, and the role all-electric buses can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
“Bus patronage in Sydney has grown remarkably over the last few years and we must continue to meet future demand in a sustainable way. Zero emission technology not only has the potential to reduce emissions in our communities, but also reduce operational costs,” Mildwater added.
“These trials are a crucial step towards this goal and will provide us with important findings about future infrastructure and energy needs. It is essential that we collaborate with industry to trial and develop the most innovative, effective and sustainable new technology and approaches for our local transport needs.”
The NSW government has issued a tender, allowing companies to lodge an expression of interest in participating in the trial and which will be open for submissions for a period of three months.
Transport for NSW will also hold an online briefing about the zero emissions bus trial for interested stakeholders on 21 May.
New South Wales will join a number of state and local governments in conducting trials of all-electric buses.
Last month, the Victorian public transport operator Transdev Melbourne commenced a trial of a first Victorian built all-electric bus for the next 12-months.
The bus was constructed by Volgren at its Australian factory in Dandenong, based on a chassis developed by BYD.
The ACT government commenced a year long trial of electric bus models in 2017, which culminated in the addition of an all-electric model into Canberra’s permanent bus fleet.
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