The Victorian budget will fund a $20 million, three-year statewide trial aimed at transitioning to a zero-emission bus fleet.
Companies across the state wishing to trial clean energy technologies will be able to make an expression of interest soon.
The government says the trial will support the state’s economy by boosting the transport equipment manufacturing and electricity supply sectors, while driving local skills and innovation development.
“Electrification of transport is critical for tackling climate change and creating new jobs in low-carbon industries,” environment and climate change minister Lily D’Ambrosio said in a statement.
Victoria has a legislated commitment of achieving zero net emissions by 2050 and getting zero emissions across the state’s bus fleet is seen as a critical component.
The government is trialling its first fully electric bus and has 40 hybrid buses operating in Melbourne and eight in the Latrobe Valley.
It says the electric bus, currently in its second trial phase, has so far saved 61 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over 300 days on the road and is travelling nearly 1,000 kilometres on just two charges using 324 kW Lithium Phosphate batteries, the government says.
Public transport minister Ben Carroll says the investment will help position Victoria as a global leader in sustainable transport solutions.
“This investment will ensure a cleaner trip for our planet and deliver hundreds of long-term jobs in the technology of the future,” he said.
Treasurer Tim Pallas will hand down the state budget on November 24.
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