In major news for the Tasmanian bus industry, Metro Tasmania has announced contracts for an electric and a hydrogen fuel-cell bus trial in the state
Tasmanian bus and coach operator Metro Tasmania has announced who has been awarded contracts for two separate zero-emissions bus trials in the state.
Metro Tasmania has appointed three firms to supply vehicles and equipment for operational trials of two separate zero-emissions bus technologies in Tasmania.
Following an extensive request for expressions of interest and a subsequent request-for-tender process run late last year, two vehicle companies and an infrastructure business have been awarded the contracts.
Custom Bus Group has won a contract to supply and maintain three battery electric city buses and associated battery chargers in Launceston, while Foton Mobility will supply and maintain three hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses in Hobart.
Furthermore, H2H Energy will supply and maintain a hydrogen refuelling station that is set to be installed at Metro’s Mornington satellite yard in Hobart.
In Hobart, three FCEBs will operate on a wide range of Metro routes for three years, expected to commence in mid-2024.
The BEBs will operate Metro services across the Launceston network for two years starting in the last quarter of 2023.
Metro CEO Katie Cooper says the trials will provide the company with critical operational experience and information to inform the potential longer-term transition of Metro’s fleet to zero emission buses.
“We will be able to test which technology is better suited to the range of conditions we experience across our networks,” she says.
In the electric trial, the batteries will be charged by mains power via special chargers which will be installed in Metro’s Launceston depot.
The Tasmanian state government allocated $6 million for Metro to conduct the BEB trial.
It has also approved $11.3 million sourced from the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program to progress a FCEB trial.