NSW site earmarked for electric bus manufacture

The NSW Southern Highlands is the site of a planned new electric bus manufacturing facility as the state government transitions towards a zero emissions public transport fleet.

Local company Nexport has purchased a 51-hectare site in Moss Vale where it plans to build the EV production facility, CEO Luke Todd told Government News.

Confirmation of the purchase comes after a recent parliamentary report on electric buses in the public transport network said the NSW government was in discussions with Nexport to build an EV facility in nearby Nowra in partnership with Chinese manufacturer BYD.

Mr Todd told the inquiry that he believed the next generation of electric buses could be  designed and engineered out of NSW.

“Nexport is committed to working through the various options around manufacturing and assembly with the NSW government. We are focused on ensuring the delivery of world class electric buses in NSW, combining global knowledge and experience, with local skills and resources,” he said.

The chassis manufacturing site originally planned for Nowra would use components from international and local supply chains and focus on research and development, Mr Todd told the NSW Legislative Council Committee on Transport and Infrastructure.

Nexport was also in discussions with BusNSW to undertake a state-wide “depot energy review” of all bus depots operating government contracts, the inquiry heard.

Nexport has delivered and operated electric airport bus fleets in Sydney and Brisbane, and more recently was involved in a trial of electric buses in Leichhardt.

In his submission to the inquiry Mr Todd said “based on current trends, it is most likely that electric buses will end up dominating the suburban route market due to the mass take-up and head start electric technology has over hydrogen”.

Phasing in the transition to electric

The committee concludes that electric buses have many potential benefits and recommends a gradual phase-in.

Cities around the world are moving their public transport bus fleets to electric, the report notes.

China currently has more than 420,000 electric buses and is forecast to have 600,000 by 2025. Chile has added 200 electric buses to its fleet and more than 4,000 are running in Europe.

Transport for NSW is already planning for the move to electric buses and two trials have been held at Nowra and Leichhardt depots.

The report says an electric fleet has many potential benefits, including better air quality, less noise and lower emissions. They also cost less than diesel buses to maintain and operate.

It says a comprehensive transition plan, including charging infrastructure, driver training, manufacture and procurement is central to the new infrastructure being successfully adopted.

The transition to an electric bus fleet could boost the local bus manufacturing industry, the committee says.

“We were excited to hear about the many potential benefits of electric buses and we believe that with careful planning and a stepped approach, our transition to electric buses can be smoothly implemented,” the report says.

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5 thoughts on “NSW site earmarked for electric bus manufacture

  1. Having experienced the quiet electric buses in Leichhardt, personally driving a hybrid with intentions of next car being electric, solar panels on my roof, this is a no brainer.
    Save our heavily polluted suburbs from all these emissions and noise.
    To have them manufactured in this State would be fantastic, not overseas.
    We need the workers from this country not overseas, to get retrained and back to work, no better time.
    So let’s get started, please!

  2. Where is all this electricity coming from? There are no new coal or nuclear power plants even planed. As current plants such as Liddell are phased out and demand increases ie electric cars etc what then? Woofle dust? Solar, wind, and batteries just won’t cut it…

    1. Electricity from Where? is a Fair comment
      There is enough science to say EV’s alone wont save the world.

      The need for a real energy policy and commitment to sustainable Urban planning, where the need for road vehicles is not a prerequisite for Urban living.
      This is I expect is a dream as NSW state economy is totally dependent on the continuous rampant urban development.
      We haven’t seen these two policy areas being addressed by any government so far.

      EV’s for Public transport is yet another short term fix. A band-aid to cover the issues of non existent or poor Policies.
      And a continuation of the NSW Transport import model. Of no substantial local content or manufacture in NSW.

      And so NSWG continues on as biggest importer of transportation assets. So other Asian economies benefit from our spend.

      Ultimately I expect this means that like other recent NSW Bus manufacture activities , Nexport facilities will be just a importer of the next generation of EV’s.
      So, The illusion of doing whats Good for NSW continues!

    2. Of course there is needs to consider the impact on the electricity network. But have a look at some of the reports coming out of AEMO etc, and the vast swathe of projects being invested in to create a greater level of dispatchable energy in the grid. New coal plants are not going to fix the pollution issue – and as good as nuclear could be, its not even close to competitive price wise, so it won’t happen.

      The market will find the solutions if nudged in the right direction. It needs an actual energy policy at the Commonwealth to do it however.

    3. Seriously Phillip?

      Ignoring the fact that AGL has very publicly announced its plan to install significant renewable generation facilities at Liddell (HINT: they are in the business of selling generated power, and Liddell has a *truckload* of transmission/dispatch capability), overseas installations have demonstrated that generating sufficient energy locally to serve e.g. a bus fleet is trivial… this in places where solar PV generation is not nearly as reliable as in Australia. In fact, the technology has progressed to the point where using residual charge in EV’s to augment grid capacity at peak times (i.e. when users are stationary at home in the evenings) is becoming a viable option!

      So let’s stop conflating the need for a move to EV’s with any ongoing need for carbon based energy production; it’s simply not required and is not economically viable – especially for Governments who can easily and quickly amortise the comparatively high upfront investment with the significant savings in operating costs.

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