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Metro Tasmania introduces new suite of electric buses

Metro Tasmania is working with the state government to introduce four new electric buses in Launceston as part of a zero-emissions bus trial

Operator Metro Tasmania, in partnership with the Tasmanian government, has announced it has ordered new battery electric buses for the streets of Launceston on a two-year trial.

As part of the trial of zero-emissions transport options across the Metro network, the buses come with an electric motor powered by on-board batteries charged by renewable mains power courtesy of special chargers.

The buses come from Custom Denning and have been through operational induction before commencing service now in Launceston.

Alongside the buses, Launceston-based Cromarty has installed charging infrastructure at Metro’s Launceston depot.

“Anything we can do to reduce emissions is an important step to take,” Tasmanian transport and infrastructure minister Michael Ferguson says.

“The trials, which will include customer feedback, will provide Metro with critical operational information. Buses have a useful life of about 20 years – because these are a long-term investment decision, it’s important to consider as much relevant information as possible before making a decision.”

The introduction of the electric buses in Launceston will be followed this year by the introduction of three hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses in Hobart for a three-year trial.

“This marks a significant milestone for Metro with the launch of our zero-emissions bus trial in Launceston,” Metro Tasmania says.

“This is an important step in Metro’s modernisation journey, in line with the government’s goal of net zero emissions from 2030. Metro is proud to be on board with a better, more sustainable public transport future for Tasmania.”

Alongside Ferguson, Metro CEO Katie Cooper unveiled the four new buses that have begun passenger service.

Tasmanian environment and climate change minister Roger Jaensch says the trial is an important part of the government’s work to reduce emissions.

“We’ve set an ambitious target of net zero-emissions or lower from 2030,” Jaensch says.

“We look forward to the outcomes of the Zero Emissions Bus Trial, which will provide us with valuable information to inform future investment in our public transport fleet.”

The Tasmanian government allocated $6 million for Metro to conduct the trial, while it also approved $11.3 million from the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program to progress a fuel-cell electric bus trial.

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