By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Bustech Group

BREAKING: Bustech Group’s 'locally designed, engineered and built' ZDi 450 electric bus has been admitted to the Transport for NSW (TfNSW) procurement ‘Panel 3’, presently making it, “…the only Australian bus company locally manufacturing zero-emission buses for the NSW market,” it announced recently.

“Bustech Group supports the NSW government’s initiative to transition to a fully zero-emissions bus fleet,” said Kasia Pitman, director of Sustainability at Bustech Group.

In being the first "Panel 3-approved Australian vehicle for NSW" [Table of BP3 Prime Bus Suppliers by category including bus body options], the Bustech Group also states it has a new Newcastle, NSW-based production facility in development.

The Bustech Group’s 12.5-metre ZDi 450 e-bus – built to "…accelerate the future of clean, efficient and emission-free transport solutions for NSW and Australia while also ‘harnessing domestic capabilities’" – will use Proterra Powered supplied batteries, it explains.

A Bustech spokesperson told ABC magazine its first generation ZDi ADR-compliant vehicle is "in operation here in Adelaide" (Adelaide Metro confirming that set-up uses Toshiba batteries) and in Dubai and that its second-generation Proterra ZDi (450) will be in operation in QLD and NSW in Q4 this year. The first ZDi 450 Panel 3-compliant buses will commence manufacture in Australia in Q2 2021, they confirmed.

"Our admission to the NSW procurement panel reaffirms the Group’s commitment to delivering the next generation of zero-emission connected transit for the NSW market, giving a real choice for domestic product versus international import models," said Christian Reynolds, executive chairman of Bustech Group.



Last December, the NSW government committed to transition its entire bus fleet to zero emissions within the decade, starting with 120 electric buses in 2021, and ultimately planning to convert all 8,000 buses in its fleet by 2030.

"Bustech Group supports the NSW government’s initiative to transition to a fully zero-emissions bus fleet," said Kasia Pitman, director of Sustainability at Bustech Group.

"We are committed to creating a more sustainable environment and economy by delivering the future of clean, efficient and emission-free public transport in NSW and Australia more broadly," she added.

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Through a strategic engineering and supply partnership with US Proterra, the leading battery and powertrain solution provider in the US, it states - Bustech Group has developed an all-electric ZDi 12.5-metre transit bus, it confirms.

This innovative, modern solution offers five industry leading features, according to Bustech: 

-    1. Industry-leading energy efficiency

Bustech Group’s ZDi bus offers the highest stored energy of any bus on the Australian market, delivering 450kW/h of stored energy, it states.

"The all-electric ZDi’s battery pack provides over 420kW/h of useable energy, enabling maximum range before requiring a recharge," said Gregg Dinning, chief technical officer at Bustech Group.

"This provides operators flexibility in both operational use and charging strategy, whilst also addressing Australia’s extreme weather conditions," he added.

-    2. Industry-leading energy density

Bustech Group’s ZDi bus offers the highest energy density battery pack, it says. This means more stored energy in every kilogram of battery pack, and more range without compromising on passenger capacity, it adds.

Large energy storage allows the Group to provide flexibility to its customers on charging strategies, it confirms. Recognising the operational challenges if all buses need charging at the same time, this model reduces the need to charge all buses each day, ultimately cutting down the real-estate impact of a low-battery capacity vehicle by reducing the number of required chargers, it adds.

-    3. Industry-leading value for money

Bustech Group’s ZDi offers the highest value for money with the lowest cost per kilowatt hour of useable energy, providing the lowest cost per kilometre of operation, it states.

"Ultimately, our advanced solution provides the NSW market with the most energy-dense and industry-leading zero-emission bus platform on the Australian market, while also ensuring the lowest possible cost per kilometre, giving both value for money in a capital purchase and also in day-to-day operations," Dinning explained.

 -    4. Industry leading standards

Bustech Group offers the highest standards in compliance and safety with the best battery performance warranty in Australia through both guaranteed replacement life and minimising battery health degradation whilst in service, it states. The Proterra-powered battery packs have undergone extensive testing to meet the highest safety standards and are designed specifically for safe operation in heavy duty transport, it adds.

"For example, our Proterra-powered batteries have an armoured coating which minimises the likelihood of damage from regular occurrences such as road furniture strikes or sudden impacts. The ZDi is also engineered for a 25-year lifecycle and can adopt future battery technology upgrades without the need for structural modifications," said Reynolds.

-    5. Industry leading Australian content

According to the Bustech Group, it manufactures buses with, "…the highest local content of any bus available in Australia."

The Group recognises the importance of sovereign capability and is, "…passionate about sourcing local supply chains and empowering local SMEs," it adds.

"We use a supply chain that is over 95 per cent located in Australia; this not only creates economic benefits and generates employment opportunities, but also ensures the lowest carbon emissions manufacturing footprint of any bus available in Australia," explained Pitman.



Bustech Group has also commenced development of an NSW-based manufacturing facility, which will focus on zero-emissions technology buses for Sydney and wider NSW markets, creating further jobs and increasing economic value for Australia, it stated.

Production of Bustech Group’s electric buses will commence in NSW in 2021, providing the first facility in Australia focused on zero-emission buses, it adds.


According to Bustech, in addition to the "60 confirmed orders" for NSW and QLD of its electric ZDi bus, Bustech Group plans to expand beyond electric buses, ultimately creating a fully electric mass-mobility ecosystem, including scalable commercial vehicles.

"We’re motivated not only by the emission-reduction benefits of sustainable multi-modal solutions, but also the cost reductions for our customers over the life of the vehicle," explained Reynolds.

"Be it buses or commercial vehicles, our solutions aim to benefit public health, the economy and employment opportunities in Australia through local manufacturing, leveraging the capabilities and capacity within the Australian market," he said.


Bustech Group is an Australian bus group designed for a connected world - delivering integrated, low-emission mass mobility solutions enabled by technology, it says. Its buses are designed, built and manufactured in Australia to the specific needs of its customers, it adds.

With an emphasis on sovereign capacity and mutually beneficial local supplier partnerships, Bustech says it operates, "…a micro factory model that drives local economic growth whilst reducing our environmental footprint."

"We believe the future of mass transit is a connected ecosystem with buses at the heart - and we are committed to enabling the next generation of connected transit," it says.

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