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Busways and DIT begin Yutong electric bus test in Adelaide

The Yutong E12 will be the first zero-emissions bus to travel in Adelaide South throughout its trial period

Operator Busways has announced it is running a new electric bus trial in Adelaide’s south starting this month alongside South Australia’s Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

The trial of the Yutong E12 makes it the first zero-emissions bus to travel in Adelaide South, providing passengers with a smoother, quieter and more comfortable ride.

The E12 bus is being provided by VDI Australia, Yutong’s national bus distributor. VDI also distributes parts and local assembly facilities for the electric E12 model, providing both CBU and local content options.

This particularly Yutong E12 model from VDI has also completed an evaluation trial in Brisbane, with more scheduled in other states.

Over the next few months, Busways will test how the vehicle handles local trip conditions and roads, from flatter routes along the coast to steeper climbs on the Southern Expressway and along the South Road corridor.

“We are excited to see an electric bus hit the road in the outer southern suburbs for the first time, offering commuters a greener, cleaner ride,” South Australian transport and infrastructure minister Tom Koutsantonis says.

“We commend Australian company Busways for its innovation in accelerating this trial and its commitment to helping the development of zero-emissions buses.

“The new bus is one of many green initiatives currently in motion across the Adelaide Metro network, with hybrid, hydrogen and electric powered vehicles moving the state towards our zero-emissions target.”

The trial will measure how well electric buses suit the local driving environment and how they perform compared to Adelaide’s hybrid buses, which use a diesel motor.

“It is an important part of Busways’ zero-emissions fleet transition strategy to test and benchmark different makes and models in varied Australian conditions,” Busways chief operating officer Chris Wolf says.

Neil Henderson (left) with FIVAA radio announcer Matthew Pantelis (right). Image: Busways

Busways South Australian general manager Neil Henderson says the team is “really looking forward” to seeing how the Yutong performs in Adelaide, where Busways already runs several hybrid electric vehicles.

“We’ll also be upskilling our Adelaide team members with exposure to training on this new technology,” Henderson says.

Currently, 30 Busways drivers have undergone specialised training to operate the Yutong bus which will be based at the Lonsdale depot alongside a recently installed charging station.

The trial aims to gather valuable insights that will shape the future of energy-efficient transport options across the Adelaide Metro bus network.

Busways says the trial will inform future energy efficient transport options across the Adelaide Metro network, with 24 hybrid and two hydrogen buses currently in service and nine more electric buses on order.

Busways says it is committed to working with government bodies towards a sustainable future and currently operates 18 electric zero-emissions buses (ZEBs) in NSW, including Yutong and Custom Denning models.

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