Timing is right for hybrid support: BIC

By: Jason Whittaker

The Bus Industry Council (BIC) is calling on bus and coach organisations to assist with an inquiry into hybrid bus

The Bus Industry Council (BIC) is calling on bus and coach organisations to assist with an inquiry into hybrid bus technology.

BIC Executive Director Michael Apps says BIC is embarking on a project to promote the uptake of hybrid bus technology to the industry and to Federal and State Governments.

"Based on the current political environment with the development of the White Energy Paper and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme we believe their may be an opportunity to obtain Federal and State Government support for the technology," Apps says.

"No guarantee, but we feel it is worth having a go and the timing is right."

Rare Consulting, headed by Mark McKenzie and colleagues, has been commissioned to lead the project.

Apps says Rare Consulting will discuss a range of issues with current and future suppliers and manufacturers of hybrid vehicle technology in Australia, including key people involved in the two current hybrid trials being undertaken in Victoria with Grenda and Ventura.

The project will:
  • compare the carbon footprint of hybrid technology with traditional diesel technology
  • examine performance characteristics of hybrid vs. traditional diesel, and
  • determine what performance criteria should be used to establish eligibility for possible Federal or State Government support.

Apps says the nature of the support proposal to the Federal and State Governments will be determined at a later date and will involve discussions with State Association Executive Directors.

"The support model may be, for example, a claim for an investment allowance as per the US model where the Federal Government makes up the price differential between a diesel and a hybrid, funding for demonstration projects in each State or a range of other options," he says.

"The first priority however is to get the reference/source document produced."

BIC is working to make approaches to the Federal Government no later than mid-November.

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