Australian bus manufacturer BusTech will manufacturer 16 new electric buses for use in Queensland thanks to a $15.6 million new strategic partnership with Keolis Downer, Australia’s largest private provider of public transport, and the Queensland Government, which will ensure the new buses are also built in Queensland.
The strategic agreement between the two companies and the Queensland Government will also see the creation of Queensland’s first 100% electric bus depot, set to be built in North Lakes at the home of the local Hornibrook Bus Lines.
Queensland has already committed to ensuring that by 2025 every new urban bus added to the fleet in Southeast Queensland will be zero-emissions, which will be followed by the rest of the urban fleet across the state by 2030.
The first electric bus from this new agreement, which will be built by BusTech Queensland at their facility on the Gold Coast, is due to arrive at the promised North Lakes depot in September 2022, with the remaining 15 electric buses to enter service by late-2023.
“This deal will see the largest rollout of electric buses in Queensland to date,” said Mark Bailey, Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Main Roads. “These buses will be built right here in Queensland, at BusTech on the Gold Coast.
“This agreement gives us a good head start because the first bus is due to arrive at Hornibrook’s North Lakes depot by the end of next year.”
The agreement to build new electric buses in Queensland for Queensland is expected to create and support 150 jobs over the next two years and entice over $17 million of estimated value into the local economy for local suppliers and contractors.
“We are proud to be partnering with the Queensland Government to transition our North Lakes depot to 100% battery electric buses,” said David Franks, CEO of Keolis Downer.
“This means the depot will be using 100% renewable energy, to power a fleet of electric buses, making it a first in Australia, and cementing Keolis Downer’s commitment to accelerate the energy transition with large-scale deployments in public transport.
Integral to Queensland’s post-COVID recovery plans, the Palaszczuk Government believes the rollout of electric buses across the state will be a key component of its renewable energy commitments.
Given that Queensland is targeting securing 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, the rapid transition to electric buses and electrified depots will play an important role in reaching the state’s renewable energy targets.