NSW enters new gear in zero emission bus transition

The state will continue investing in zero emission bus technology to increase the timespan of the transition

NSW enters new gear in zero emission bus transition
The NSW government is injecting more money into transitioning the state's bus fleet to zero emissions vehicles

The New South Wales government has announced it will invest $218.9 million over the next seven years to support the bus fleet’s move to zero emissions technology.

The funding has been confirmed as part of the 2022-23 state budget, with the government confirming a rollout plan that prioritises sustainability and local manufacturing when making the transition.

NSW treasurer Matt Kean says the state government will continue to set aside almost $2 billion to begin the transition of more than 8,000 buses across the state so that NSW has a fully transitioned fleet by 2047.

"The NSW government is committed to delivering the benefits of zero emission buses state-wide and ensuring NSW is a global leader in this space," Kean says.

"This investment includes funding of $84 million to enable transition planning, including electrical grid upgrades at 11 Transport for NSW bus depots.

"Transitioning the entire fleet of buses will reduce Transport for NSW’s emissions by 78 per cent, reduce noise on our streets, improve air quality and ensure our commuters enjoy a smoother ride."

NSW transport and veterans minister David Elliott says the state government has taken onboard advice from industry, operators and experts to ensure the staged transition is smooth, sustainable and supportive of the local manufacturing industry.

"The NSW government is committed to ensuring that the transition to zero emission buses will deliver benefits to the community and the environment while stimulating the economy," Elliott says.

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"That is why the zero-emissions bus rollout plan has been developed in close consultation with industry."

Elliott says the state government will stagger the transition of the entire fleet of buses to zero emissions technology by 2035 in greater Sydney, outer metro regions by 2040 and regional NSW by 2047.

NSW regional transport and roads minister Sam Farraway says the funding also includes $25 million over three years for regional trials in new and emerging technologies, including hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.

"We are taking the time to get this transition right for everyone in NSW, we know all too well that what works in the city doesn’t always translate to the regions and this staged approach will give more certainty to our local operators and communities," Farraway says.

"Investing in trials will allow us to find the technology that perfectly suits our regions and means we can continue to benefit from technology advancements that will better suit the longer distances and range necessary for regional travel.

"The transition to zero emissions technology will support jobs and businesses including those currently working on diesel right across rural and regional NSW."

The NSW government says it’s on track to have more than 200 zero emissions buses in service by mid-2023 and hasn’t ordered a single-storey diesel bus for greater Sydney since 2019.

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