Qld hybrid bus trial set for takeoff

A 12-month trial of a hybrid electric-diesel bus will start later this year in Cairns

Qld hybrid bus trial set for takeoff
Qld hybrid bus trial set for takeoff
June 2, 2010

A 12-month trial of a hybrid electric-diesel bus will start later this year in Cairns – the first of two trials to be undertaken by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says the second trial will be undertaken within South East Queensland once the results of the first trial have been assessed.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has committed $1.4 million to fund the trials.

Nolan says the buses will be wheelchair accessible and air conditioned to ensure passenger comfort.

They will use both an electric motor and a diesel engine to propel it forward, with excess energy stored inside the battery and recycled, when needed.

"These buses could make a serious difference. They could cut emissions by up to 40 percent over a traditional bus, if US trial results are achieved here in Queensland," she says.

The diesel-electric hybrid bus trial is also part of the Government’s ClimateQ program, which uses $196 million of the Queensland Climate Change Fund to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to support the community and industry to adapt to a changing climate.

Nolan announced the go-ahead for the trial while launching the Office of Sustainable Transport (OST), which will operate out of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

"With transport accounting for more than 10 percent of Queensland’s total emissions, we have to take a long hard look at how we travel," she says.

"The OST will aim to deliver more sustainable transport solutions for Queensland. This dedicated team is charged with taking a futuristic look at transport solutions across the state.

"I’m serious about reducing the state’s greenhouse gases and we’re committed to achieving this through a number of targeted initiatives led by the new office."

Nolan says the Government will seek advice from key stakeholders on OST policies including the RACQ, Australian Conservation Foundation, Queensland Conservation Council, Bicycle Queensland, Rail Back on Track, Queensland Trucking Association, Queensland Bus Industry Council, Taxi Council of Queensland and Heart Foundation.

The Office is also working closely with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Queensland Conservation Council on a Sustainable Transport Forum.

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