WA to add 130 electric buses to fleet

The West Australian government will boost its electric bus fleet with a $125 million funding injection in the state budget.

Rita Saffioti

Together with a $125 million commitment announced by the federal government last year, the funding will provide for 130 new locally built electric buses, and upgrades to depots including charging infrastructure.

Premier Mark McGowan described electric vehicles as “the future”.

“Importantly, we will build these buses right here in Western Australia, creating local manufacturing jobs and supporting local business,” he said in a statement on Monday.

The first locally manufactured buses are expected to roll off the assembly line in 2024-25,  and will be used in the Perth CBD, with the remainder of the buses to service the Perth metropolitan region.

The state budget will allocate an initial $22 million next financial year via the Perth Parking Levy to build 18 news electric buses and install charging infrastructure at Elizabeth Quay Bus station in Perth.

Electric bus trial hailed a success

Four Volvo battery-electric buses are currently being trialed in the northern Perth suburb of Joondalup and are expected to have carried 250,000 passengers in the first 12 months, the government says, as well as saving about 230 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The trial marks the first time electric buses have been used on Perth’s public transport network.

As part of the trial Joondalup bus dept is using a high-voltage overnight EV charging system drawing on the existing grid and a solar array connected to an on-site battery.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says the trial has proved popular with passengers.

“The ongoing success of the trial has allowed us to commit more funding to expand the electric bus program, getting more of this environmentally friendly technology on Perth streets,” she said in a statement.

“If four of these buses have managed to carry more than 250,000 passengers and save 230 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year, it is exciting to think what a growing fleet will be able to achieve in the near future.”

Transperth currently operates a fleet of 1,500 buses.

WA’s 23-24 budget is expected to be handed down next month.

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