NSW takes step towards green bus fleet with $70 million contract

The NSW government has awarded a $70 million contract to a local company to design, manufacture and assemble 79 new electric buses.

The government now has more than 100 bus orders placed with Western Sydney coach and bus manufacturer Custom Denning, which has had four Element Battery Electric buses in service since 2020.

Premier Dominic Perrottet, who on Monday toured Custom Denning’s St Mary’s factory where the e-buses will be built, said the investment was a move towards transitioning the 8,000-strong government bus fleet to zero emissions technology.

“This is a true Western Sydney success story and our government is proud to have played a part in this business producing the first locally-built electric bus,” Mr Perrottet said in a statement.

Once built, the 79 buses will operate services in Sydney’s inner west.

Transport minister David Elliott said the contract would help drive a post pandemic jobs recovery.

“The NSW Government’s commitment to transition the entire 8,000-plus bus fleet is supercharging jobs and manufacturing in Western Sydney,” Mr Elliott in a statement.

“Bus customers are already experiencing the benefits of electric buses from Penrith to Bondi, and we will continue to back local manufacturing.”

The Element e-buses use solid-state lithium metal polymer (LMP) batteries which have an expected life of over 10 years, with the buses having a 25-year shelf-life.

Custom Denning says the model is capable of replacing standard diesel buses without the need for additional route infrastructure.

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