By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Bustech + Nic Benn

ASIDE FROM the recently announced batch of 20 Bustech-made buses offering local South Australian students a ‘greener ride’ to and from school, they demonstrate 'local vehicle manufacturing' is possible, according to the Adelaide-based company.

The Bustech Group is passionate about sourcing and harnessing local manufacturing and engineering capabilities to design and build its products, it explains.

The production of these 20 buses at Bustech Group’s Adelaide facility – touted as "locally built with the highest Australian content" – is a, "…testament to the advanced technical, engineering and manufacturing expertise within South Australia," the company states.

"It’s vital that we demonstrate to our school children that we can manufacture vehicles in Australia, and we don’t need to be net importers of technology – making as many school buses as we can in Australia is a great way to do that," said Christian Reynolds, Bustech Group executive chairman.

Being 100 per cent Australian-owned and employing more than 250 staff Australia-wide, the Bustech Group is passionate about sourcing and harnessing local manufacturing and engineering capabilities to design and build its products, it explains.

"Through engaging a local supply chain and building these buses in Adelaide - rather than importing buses from overseas - we significantly decrease our carbon footprint while also generating compounded employment and economic benefits through the supply chain far greater than the manufacture of these 20 buses," Reynolds stated.

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The delivery of the 20 new school buses, including 17 hybrid-electric, is ultimately to meet increased demands on South Australian school bus routes, says Bustech.

Scania supplied the hybrid chassis for the Bustech-made bus bodies, combined at its facility in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide. The completed units will support the South Australian State Government’s commitment to providing school students with a safe, effective and reliable bus service, it explains.

The milestone was celebrated recently at Unley High School with state Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Corey Wingard congratulating Bustech and Scania for delivering the first tranche of locally built school buses for South Australian students.

"We want to provide the next generation of school students with a cleaner and greener public transport experience, especially as Year 7 transitions into public high schools from next year," said Minister Wingard.

"As an added bonus, our adoption of the Scania hybrid for the Adelaide Metro fleet is also creating jobs for South Australians as it has led to an increase in the number of employees at Bustech dedicated to bus body building."

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The partnership with Bustech and Scania to build the additional hybrid models for use on school routes is part of a shared goal to deliver commercially sustainable transport solutions for customers across Australia, they organisation explain.

"Bustech Group continues to work closely with state governments and operators to transition diesel fleets to lower-emission solutions and ultimately zero-emission solutions, which will significantly benefit the local environment and public health," Reynolds said.

"These new hybrid-battery buses built in Adelaide for Adelaide are an important step in achieving cleaner and more sustainable public transport options for South Australians," he added.

The first three of the new hybrid buses have already rolled off the production line with the remainder, including three articulated buses (non-hybrid Euro 6, 360hp diesel powered), to be delivered by the end of 2021, Bustech confirms.

These new buses will help to meet demand as a significant number of extra students start attending secondary schools due to the transition of Year 7 into high school in term 1, 2022, it explains.

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