Two buses powered by sugar cane hit the ground in Queensland

Two state-of-the-art bioethanol-fuelled buses have begun operating in Mackay as part of a 12-month trial run by TransLink and the Department of State Development.

Two buses powered by sugar cane hit the ground in Queensland
The sugar cane powered buses will be trialed for 12 months

Piloted by TransLink delivery partner Mackay Transit Coaches from December 2021, the Scania-owned buses will run on bioethanol fuel produced from locally-grown sugarcane in Mackay.

Bioethanol fuel is more environmentally friendly than the traditional diesel fuel used in many buses, with Scania research indicating that its bioethanol buses can reduce carbon emissions by up to 90 per cent.

Larissa Rose from the industry association Biofuels Australia spoke to 7NEWS Mackay about the importance of these buses.

"This is a perfect example of how the state of Queensland can exemplify the decarbonising of the transport sector," Rose said.

Construction of the two buses began last year at BusTech on the Gold Coast, with the upcoming trial the latest example of the state government's commitment to a greener bus future.

Every new bus in south east Queensland will be zero emission from 2025, with regional implementation to begin between 2025 and 2030.

The two new buses, which will run on fuel produced by Wilmar Bioethanol Australia's refinery in Sarina, will operate across the entire Mackay bus network.

The 12-month trial is being funded by Scania and the Queensland government.

The Queensland government intends to roll these buses out across regional Queensland at the completion of the trial.

The challenge for Queensland as it transitions to a zero-emission bus fleet is ensuring its regional centres can still be serviced without the same infrastructure as a major city.

Queensland delivered close to 28.44 million tonnes of sugar cane to Australian mills last year according to the Australian Bureau of statistics.

Utilising a product of such abundance in Queensland is important for the regional transition to zero emission transport.


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