Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

We'll switch your business
to Led lighting for Free*

Electric buses to hit Canberra streets by year end

By Glynis Quinlan - 16 August 2017 10

Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid

Pictured is a Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid bus at a quick-charge facility in St. Moritz, Switzerland. A Volvo hybrid bus will be part of the trial in Canberra which will be rolled out by the end of the year.

Electric buses will hit Canberra streets by the end of the year as the ACT Government rolls out a $900,000 trial of the environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Contracts have been signed with two internationally-renowned providers to supply the buses which include two fully electric buses from Carbridge and a hybrid bus supplied by Volvo.

The trial is the first of its kind in Canberra and will run until the end of 2019. According to ACT Transport and City Services Minister, Meegan Fitzharris, the trial will guide future government decisions about replacing diesel buses with those run by alternate fuels.

Ms Fitzharris said the three new buses will service the entire Transport Canberra bus network alongside the diesel powered fleet.

“The trial clearly demonstrates this Government’s resolve to invest in our bus system as one part of an integrated transport network, to get people where they need to be safely and on time,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Recent improvements in battery technology mean that electric buses are becoming more economical and operationally viable, coupled with obvious environmental benefits.

“If electric or electric-hybrid buses are found suitable following the trial, Transport Canberra will consider alternative fuel buses as part of the broader fleet replacement options.

“The electric bus trial is a modern, environmentally beneficial initiative and we welcome this progressive feature of our integrated public transport network.”

Do you think electric buses are a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
10 Responses to
Electric buses to hit Canberra streets by year end
Bussie 10:43 pm 17 Aug 17

ACTION still operates plenty of chartered services. However there is no longer a separate charter section with its own dedicated buses and drivers like there was in the 90s. All charters are now operated by drivers on overtime. While charters occasionally go to nearby areas of NSW bike racks have to be removed beforehand as these are illegal over the border. Longer trips in an ACTION bus would be undesireable given that the buses are governed to 80kph. While on the newer buses this can be removed by reprogramming the engine it would be illegal to carry passengers in such configuration due to the lack of seat belts.

gbates 9:21 pm 17 Aug 17

Potential for renewable energy aside, these vehicles promise to be far quieter.

MrPC, I suspect the $900k only covers these buses for the length of the trial, instead of the 400 year service life of an Action bus.

JC 7:56 pm 17 Aug 17

Maya123 said :

The disadvantage of these buses is that they can’t be taken on longer trips. It wouldn’t be possible to hire them out for trips away from Canberra, because where could they be charged and how long would that take? But as long as there are some conventional buses still that are available for longer distant hires the new buses are a good experiment.

Re hills: how about Hindmarsh Drive. Routes 4 & 5; that would test them. Full buses ascending those hills tests the present buses. I have been on standing only room buses on this hill and the bus crawls. I suggest putting these electric buses on this route at peak time; say when school comes out, headed for Woden, to give them a good test.

By these busses assume you mean the electric ones? Whilst not overly clear action are getting 2 electric ones and one hybrid. Hybrids like hybrid cars wouldn’t suffer from any of the issues you mention.

bigred 3:57 pm 17 Aug 17

It will be interesting to see how the pilot goes. The electric buses they have chosen seem to have been used as airport car park shuttles, ie flat running on a short and low speed route. I suspect the length and speed of the intertown routes may present range challenges. The hybrid appears to be the safer bet with its combination of diesel and battery power. Of course, both will have a degree of regeneration going on whenever they are slowing.

Maya123 1:30 pm 17 Aug 17

GCS14 said :

Maya123 said :

The disadvantage of these buses is that they can’t be taken on longer trips. It wouldn’t be possible to hire them out for trips away from Canberra, because where could they be charged and how long would that take? But as long as there are some conventional buses still that are available for longer distant hires the new buses are a good experiment.

They are commuter busses, not coaches. Coaches are typically used for longer trips anyway.

Do you know about ACTION hiring practices, or are you guessing? Interested to know more about how far they go. I have known people to hire ACTION buses for days away from Canberra. Admittedly that was some years ago. Are you suggesting ACTION Buses don’t hire them for private trips now? Their website reads as if they still do. From memory the bus that was hired went further than the ACT.

GCS14 11:18 am 17 Aug 17

Maya123 said :

The disadvantage of these buses is that they can’t be taken on longer trips. It wouldn’t be possible to hire them out for trips away from Canberra, because where could they be charged and how long would that take? But as long as there are some conventional buses still that are available for longer distant hires the new buses are a good experiment.

They are commuter busses, not coaches. Coaches are typically used for longer trips anyway.

Maya123 10:30 pm 16 Aug 17

The disadvantage of these buses is that they can’t be taken on longer trips. It wouldn’t be possible to hire them out for trips away from Canberra, because where could they be charged and how long would that take? But as long as there are some conventional buses still that are available for longer distant hires the new buses are a good experiment.

Re hills: how about Hindmarsh Drive. Routes 4 & 5; that would test them. Full buses ascending those hills tests the present buses. I have been on standing only room buses on this hill and the bus crawls. I suggest putting these electric buses on this route at peak time; say when school comes out, headed for Woden, to give them a good test.

Lucy Baker 8:01 pm 16 Aug 17

What’s the green, renewable, carbon-neutral electricity source for these buses?

MrPC 5:56 pm 16 Aug 17

They’d need to revamp the route structure to bring back the 333 (or a light rail equivalent) and keep these battery buses within the one valley. Hauling a full load of passengers over Yamba Drive or Belconnen Way would drain the batteries fiercely. That said, they could put trolley wires on the hillier routes and they’d be fine then. They could run that power into the motors and also top up the batteries at the same time.

This has a lot of promise. Not quite as much as the proponents think. The battery trams in Bendigo didn’t last very long because of the hills there. But still a lot, if done smartly.

And has anyone noticed that these buses ($900k for 2 buses = $450k) is actually cheaper than what the ACT Government spends on conventional buses ($10m for 20 buses = $500k)? Win-win!

JC 10:23 am 16 Aug 17

I doubt the picture above is of an electric hybrid bus. Looks like an pure electric tonne if it is being charged.

Hybrids have a Diesel engine that runs at a constant RPM charging the batteries, along with energy created by braking etc. Hybrids don’t charge like that.

And still shocked how far behind we are with hybrids. Europe has had them as the norm for a good 10 years now.

Then again we were slow with CNG and slow to do away with it too.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site