Mercedes-Benz Bus has promised that it will introduce an electric bus chassis into Australia by the end of 2022, following its launch in Brazil earlier in the month.
Demand has increased rapidly for electric buses in councils and cities across Australian this year, and local bus manufactures have already begun securing deals to locally produce electric buses. NSW aims to make all its 8,000 Sydney region buses electric.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled earlier this month its new fully electric eO500U bus chassis in Brazil, and is specially designed for Latin American cities and will be produced in São Bernardo do Campo, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, from 2022.
Though designed specifically for Latin American cities, Mercedes-Benz Bus have also now promised that the eO500U electric bus chassis will be introduced to Australia in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Unlike the Latin American version, which claims an all-electric range of up to 250-kilometres, the Australian-specification electric city bus chassis will boast a range of upwards of 300-kilometres. Like the Latin American version, however, the Australian-specific eO500U chassis can be fully charged in just over 3 hours.
“Our customers are excited about a Mercedes-Benz bus that emits zero local emissions and is perfect for operation both in the regions and cities and suburbs with high pedestrian density,” said Daniel Whitehead, Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO.
Measuring 13.2-metres in length, the Mercedes-Benz electric city bus chassis is a low-floor model suitable for locally made bodies with an electric motor integrated into the rear axle.
Equipped with EBS electronic braking and energy recovery system, the electric bus can hold up to 86 passengers and will be manufactured in Brazil for markets in Latin America, Europe, and Oceania.
One of Australia’s most recognised bus manufacturers, Volgren, has made several moves to begin supplying electric buses to Australian cities and councils. In June, an electric bus manufactured by Volgren was involved in a city trial by Transdev Melbourne, which was put to use in an 86-kilometre route that runs around the outskirts of the city.
In July, Australian electric bus supplier Nexport Mobility secured a supply agreement with British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis to bring a range of zero-emission buses to the Australian market.
Nexport is already the exclusive distributor and partner in Australia of Chinese electric bus manufacturer BYD, and its partnership with Alexander Dennis will see Nexport assemble Alexander Dennis electric bus bodies from the company’s Enviro range atop BYD electric bus chassis and introduce the buses into the Australian market.
Another Australian bus manufacturer, BusTech, similarly announced in August that it 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.
And again in August, tourist and travel services company SeaLink Travel announced its own plans to operate at least 55 zero emissions buses in Australia by mid-2022.