No electric buses for Perth

Volvo Euro 6’s to roll-out in Perth CBD after 18-month electric-diesel trial fails to impress

Perth's core CBD bus fleet of 32 vehicles will be replaced with Volvo Euro 6 diesels at a cost of $18.2million, after electric-diesel hybrids were deemed too expensive.

The decision comes after Transperth trialled a diesel-electric hybrid bus as an option to replace its aging fleet – which will now be gradually decommissioned over the next three years – with the first Euro 6 city bus to arrive next year.

Western Australia transport minister Dean Nalder says the 18-month trial thoroughly assessed the on-road handling, maintenance requirements and the economic cost of diesel-electric technology.

"A lack of quickly available parts, the need to re-train staff for the new technology and the fact that the cleanest diesel bus in the world is already available and tested in this market was overwhelming evidence that, for the time being at least, diesel buses remain the best choice for the Transperth network," he says.

Nalder says the cost over time of electric –diesel hybrid buses did not represent value for money for the taxpayer and was much higher than the Euro 6 clean diesel option.

The WA Government has no regrets about conducting the trial, Nalder says, as it can now be sure it is making the correct decision about which vehicles to run on the network.

"We have a strong track record of investing in cutting-edge technology, including the decision to undertake this diesel-electric hybrid bus trial in order to assess the status of this technology.

"We will continue to keep our eye on what the market can offer in terms of low-emission buses, but for the time being we will stick with ultra-clean diesel. 

"Euro 5 is the current Australian standard, so we are well-ahead of the curve by ordering Euro 6 buses for the Central Area Transit (CAT) fleet."

The WA Government has already spent $58.5million on 70 articulated Euro 6 buses for the wider Transperth network.

CAT buses operate on four inner –city routes, with about 29,000 boardings on a typical weekday.

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