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Australia’s biggest electric bus fleet to be deployed in NSW


A new pilot program has been introduced by the federal government to back Australia’s largest fleet of electric buses, with 40 new vehicles to be deployed across Sydney. 

In a joint venture between Transgrid and Zenobe, the project will transition diesel buses to electric in an Australian first, in addition to upgrading the charging infrastructure and retrofitting the bus depot in Leichhardt, NSW. The project will also be supported by Transit Systems and Transport for NSW. 

The government will support the pilot with a $29.5 million investment, with a further $24.5 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and $5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).  

The federal and NSW governments are working together to reduce emissions through a focus on technology and testing innovative commercial models, Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction minister Angus Taylor said. 

“This project demonstrates the importance of governments and industry working together to reduce emissions in hard to abate sectors like road and transport,” Taylor said.  

“The aim of the pilot is to show the technical and commercial viability of using electric buses travelling a full route without the need to stop to recharge along the way. 

“This significant investment will establish the nation’s first fully-integrated electric bus depot, allowing other fleet operators to better understand commercial implications and make informed choices about new technologies.” 

NSW minister for Transport Rob Stokes said that NSW is leading the way with the largest fleet of electric buses in Australia. 

“We’ve set an ambitious target to transition our fleet of 8,000 buses to Zero Emission technology by 2030 and this project is a huge step in that direction,” he said. 

“The innovative financing model adopted means we’re able to deliver 40 new electric buses for the Inner West quickly, at no extra cost to the NSW taxpayer.  

“We will also upgrade the infrastructure at the Leichhardt depot, shifting from diesel pumps to smart charging stations, solar panels and large-scale energy storage.”  

The project will aim to drive a cleaner future for public transport in NSW. 

“Transport is one of the major sources of carbon emissions, which is why we need to forge ahead with initiatives that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and drive us towards a cleaner and greener future,” NSW treasurer and minister for Energy and the Environment Matt Kean said. 

The Leichhardt depot retrofit will include a combination of 324 kWh and 422 kWh batteries, five 120 kW electric bus chargers – capable of charging two buses at a time and 31 80 kW electric bus chargers, 2.5 MW/4.9 MWh of stationary battery storage, and 388 kW of rooftop solar PV. 

The first 12 of the 40 new electric buses will enter service this month, with the rest of the fleet to arrive over the next six months. 

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