Australian manufacturer ARCC is set to release its versatile zero-emissions bus offering into the local market in 2023 with easy conversion between full electric and hydrogen-electric configurations
The industry is currently brimming with firsts and novel releases. The 100 per cent Australian designed and built buses released by the Aluminium Revolutionary Chassis Company (ARCC) are no different. As the local market takes a sustainable turn, ARCC’s chassis are leading the charge for Australian manufacturers.
ARCC’s vehicles include Australia’s first lightweight, fully bolted aluminium bus chassis with an integrated bolted aluminium body solution that can be provided to customers in a variety of configurations, not just completely built.
ARCC managing director Peter Murley says the company’s leading aluminium chassis is revolutionary due to the fact it isn’t just tailored towards a battery electric fuel source.
“The bespoke nature of our bolted skateboard architecture means it’s agnostic to either battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell powertrains,” Murley told ABC. “This essentially future proofs ARCC’s vehicles.
“This interchangeable feature would enable a no regret approach for states and territories when it comes to selecting the technology to transition to zero-emissions with.”
Within this single aluminium model, ARCC has already seen its chassis applied to both fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses. The ARCC chassis has variants that enable it to provide vehicles with either a 16-tonne or 18-tonne gross mass vehicle. Murley says the lightweight nature of the chassis enables ARCC to deliver a 16-tonne version without having to lower passenger numbers.
The 18-tonne model uses full Scania running gear that Murley says is known and proven to the market.
“These chassis provide a real world advantage to operators in terms of parts and maintenance as we use the existing Scania product suite,” Murley says. “ARCC’s technology is the missing piece to move the wheels on a zero-emissions transport future.”
Murley says the lightweight nature of the aluminium chassis is a main feature that differentiates it in the market.
It can also start off as a battery electric bus and transition to a hydrogen bus in future if operators wish.
ARCC also allows customers to view the bus during building, while providing easy repair solutions if required.
With a totally new body design set to be launched in 2023 to partner hydrogen projects around Australia, Murley says ARCC’s way of building zero-emissions buses is completely unique.
“We are developing a totally new approach to how buses can be supplied, which will benefit customers due to the additional options available around how they procure their buses,” Murley says. “The ARCC Box in a bus system is designed to not only promote flexibility but also scalability, which is important given the issues we’ve seen with supply chains and tight labour markets.”
The novel idea comes under a new Bird Cage solution for zero-emissions buses, which ARCC says reduces the time of manufacture by up to 30 per cent. Murley says this technique also allows for buses to be developed into a format to make scale and export more efficient. As a result, manufacturing hours and assembly costs can be kept as low as possible.
After using 2022 to establish partnerships with Macquarie Bank and Origin Energy, Murley says ARCC’s revolutionary way of building chassis has set it apart in the industry when it comes to working with energy companies. The ARCC managing director says he hopes the industry sees the total focus that ARCC has put into developing exciting technology for the zero-emissions mobility space.
“Since 2016, ARCC has been in the business of disrupting the status quo by focusing on technology solutions that are lightweight and allow for integration with a variety of drivetrains and power solutions,” Murley says. “The concept of using less resources to achieve more throughout the total design and manufacturing process has driven the ARCC team.”
What to look forward to in 2023
After spending much of 2022 working on its new partnerships with Macquarie Bank and Origin Energy, ARCC will continue to emphasise industry connections to provide turn key solutions for customers. Murley says ARCC’s collaboration with these industry bodies starts from the ethical capture of energy through to the provision of infrastructure, finance solutions and ongoing maintenance through support services.
“It is ARCC’s belief that there must be a coalition of partners to assist operators and governments to address the challenges of the roll out at scale of zero-emissions buses,” Murley told ABC. “These partnerships place ARCC in a position to assist the industry in its evaluation of solutions and the provision of locally designed, manufactured and supported vehicles.”
While it works with industry members, ARCC also has some exciting events occurring in 2023. This includes the deployment of the first Australian built and designed hydrogen route buses with Red Bus Services in New South Wales, Melbourne’s TSA and ComfortDelGro (CDC) in Geelong.
“Alongside our partnerships is an innovative fresh body design that we will be launching in 2023 with the Melbourne hydrogen projects we have with TSA and CDC,” Murley says.