Australian-made electric bus helps drive NSW fleet conversion


The NSW Government plans to convert all of its 8,000 buses to electric, starting with 50 in Sydney this year, but until now the electrification of the fleet has been through either the conversion of existing diesel buses or with electric buses built overseas.

The Element e-bus, which will run between the Sydney beachside suburbs of Bondi and Bronte during the two-week trial, was designed and built by Sydney-based bus and coach manufacturer Custom Denning.

“Until now we’ve seen the conversion of diesel buses to electric and buses built overseas, but this is the first fully fledged Australian-made bus in the state,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.

“The state’s first trial of a locally built electric bus takes us closer to an emissions free future.”

The state’s 8,000 buses currently operate on diesel fuel and compressed natural gas but there are plans to roll out 50 new e-buses across Sydney this year with the government aiming to replace the entire fleet by 2030, in line with its net zero by 2050 plan.

“I want to scale up our efforts towards tackling climate change,” Constance said.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve been trialling five electric buses in the Inner West, and the feedback from drivers and customers has been positive.”

Custom Denning managing director Scott Dunn welcomed the trial and government support.

“The NSW Government has supported our business since I purchased it three years ago, now we can help them build a better future for both commuters and the environment,” he said.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton announce the trial of the Element e-bus.

Image: NSW Govt

The Element e-bus features recyclable Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) Solid State batteries which come with a 10-year warranty.

Custom Denning said the Element bus can operate for approximately 16 hours or 450kms on a full charge, which takes about five hours to deliver.

The Element is the latest in the rollout of electric buses on NSW roads with a new BCI-manufactured e-bus taking to the roads in Sydney’s south west last month.

BCI said the bus is capable of running for up to seven hours on a full charge.

As part of the 2021 rollout, another nine electric buses, are due to be delivered by the end of the year while a further 70 are on order from Truegreen’s Nexport, which is establishing a manufacturing facility in the southern Highlands.


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