TRANSDEV’S VOLGREN ELECTRIC BUS TRIAL STARTS SOON IN MELBOURNE

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: Charlie Suriano + courtesy Volgren


BREAKING: Victoria’s first locally built (body), fully electric bus will soon begin a Transdev-run passenger-carrying trial - until January, 2021 - on one of Melbourne’s busiest routes, the State Government has announced.

TRANSDEV’S VOLGREN ELECTRIC BUS TRIAL STARTS SOON IN MELBOURNE
The trial will continue until January 2021 and will be reviewed to determine the potential to roll out fully electric buses across Victoria, the state government confirms.

The bus will run on Route 246 between Elsternwick and Clifton Hill via St Kilda before potentially being used across other inner Melbourne routes, the government confirms.

As per ABC magazine’s Issue 386 (September, 2019) coverstory, Volgren in Dandenong did the body construction and fit-out for the new bus, which the government points out supports Victorian jobs and backs the local automotive industry to, "…develop new capability and innovation."

The new zero-emission bus – a prototype built on a Chinese BYD e-bus chassis (the body can be fitted to other electric bus chassis) - is fitted with 324kWH of lithium-phosphate batteries providing 300 kilometres of travel range, the government states.

The bus will not only help to reduce carbon emissions, it will also improve air quality and deliver a quieter and smoother ride for passengers, it adds.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY

Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said: "We’re modernising, expanding and upgrading our bus fleet, while improving the passenger experience and trialling new technology with the aim of reducing the impact on the environment."

"It doesn’t matter what mode of transport you use – bus, train or tram – because we’re investing across the entire network to provide safe and reliable trips for Victorians."

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Transdev Australasia CEO Luke Agati said: "As the leading operator of zero-emission mobility solutions globally, we’re delighted to partner with the Victorian Government to bring this technology to Melbourne."

"We believe electric buses will play an important role in Melbourne’s future public transport network and we’re looking forward to hearing from our customers about what they think of Melbourne’s first locally built, fully electric bus."

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CHARGING UP

The new Transdev-run electric bus features a low floor, intelligent early detection collision avoidance systems, USB charging ports and will be among the cleanest commercial vehicles on Australian roads, the government says.

The bus will be based at Transdev’s North Fitzroy depot, where a charging station has been installed.

The trial will continue until January 2021 and will be reviewed to determine the potential to roll out fully electric buses across Victoria.

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