ACT labor has promised to purchase 90 all-electric buses to service the national capital if it is re-elected in October, with the potential for the ACT bus fleet to grow to up to 150 zero emissions buses with the construction of a new dedicated bus depot.
The ACT Labor party believes that the pledge could create up to 500 new jobs through the construction of new supporting infrastructure, charging equipment and the engagement of new bus drivers, and would contribute to an ACT Labor target of transitioning the entirety of Canberra’s public bus fleet to electric zero emissions models by no later than 2037.
ACT Labor spokesperson for transport, Chris Steel, said the election commitment would cover the installation of new supporting infrastructure, including a new maintenance workshop and bus recharging services.
The election pledges includes a commitment to build a new bus terminal in Canberra’s north, and the installation of bus charging infrastructure at an existing Woden Depot in Canberra’s south.
Steel said that the all-electric buses would serve as a direct replacement to part of the ACT’s fleet of gas and diesel buses, and would be part of a wider effort to reduce the territory’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“The first 90 battery electric buses will replace ageing diesel and CNG fossil fuel buses and help grow Transport Canberra’s fleet,” Steel said.
Steel added that a re-elected ACT Labor government would construct a dedicated bus terminal to serve the all-electric bus fleet, that would have the capacity to support a further expansion to as many as 150 zero emission buses.
“To support these vehicles, a re-elected Labor Government will build a fully-electric fourth bus depot that will cater for up to 150 zero emission buses with the flexibility to expand,” Steel said.
“In the interim, to house the growing zero emissions fleet, we will invest $13 million to build the new Woden Depot with charging infrastructure and workshop functionality to initially charge 50 zero emission buses.”
With the ACT already sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, switching public transport to electric models provides an opportunity for the territory to make significant cuts to its transport emissions.
The ACT government has already successfully completed an electric light rail service, which runs between the city’s northern suburbs and CBD, and will could look to expand this to southern suburbs after the October election.
“Under Labor the 20% of public transport trips that are taken on light rail are already zero emissions, and with this bus plan Labor will reduce Transport Canberra’s fleet emissions by over 17% in the next term alone,” Steel added.
As part of the pledge, ACT Labor would recruit an additional 64 bus drivers to expand public transport services, along with an additional five full-time mechanics to service the new all-electric buses.
ACT Labor leads a Labor-Greens partnership in the ACT legislative assembly, with the ACT Greens having announced their own election pledge to provide rebates of up to $10,000 to support Canberra residents purchase an electric vehicle, as part of an electric vehicle package worth $50 million.
The ACT will hold its next election on 31 October.
The ACT Government has been https://thedriven.io/2019/11/12/act-introduces-first-electric-bus-on-path-to-zero-transport-emissions/, finding that they could play a viable role in the ACT’s public transport system.
ACT minister for climate change and sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, recently revealed that Neoen and Global Power Generation will build two new 100MW wind farms to supply the ACT with additional renewable electricity, along with two big batteries to be built within the ACT.
The new commitments, secured under a tender run by the ACT government, was designed to top-up the territory’s renewable electricity supplies as it moves to further electrify more of its energy use, including in the transport system.