Australia, Bus Industry News, Bus Trials, Hydrogen

Victoria to introduce first hydrogen buses across Melbourne

The two new hydrogen buses, to be run by Transit Systems, will soon be running routes in Melbourne’s west

The Victorian government has announced that two Australian-made and designed hydrogen buses will be introduced to Melbourne’s west, as the state government ramps up its transition to a cleaner and more sustainable bus fleet.

Victorian public transport minister Gabrielle Williams launched the buses at Transit Systems’ West Footscray bus depot, which will run the two hydrogen buses to service routes across Footscray, Williamstown, Moonee Ponds and Sunshine.

“Tackling emissions on our public transport network is a key part of Victoria meeting our nation-leading net zero emissions target – and we’re trialling the best technologies to deliver those savings,” Williams says.

“This is an exciting next step in our journey towards a cleaner bus fleet in Victoria as we get on with transforming the state’s public transport network, delivering more services and slashing emissions.”

The two Victorian-first hydrogen new buses form part of a trial in which six operators – including Transit – are rolling out 52 zero emissions buses, alongside the two hydrogen vehicles, across the state.

Transit Systems CEO Michael McGee says the operator has leveraged a decade of hydrogen bus experience, gained by the group during a hydrogen bus trial with Transport for London.

“Governments are looking to reduce emissions and decarbonise cities as fast and efficiently as possible, and mass transit assets, network designs and technology are the vital components in this process,” McGee says.

“Hydrogen fuel cell buses only emit water vapour at their tailpipe, and it is estimated that the two new buses, which were manufactured by Aluminium Revolutionary Chassis Company (ARCC) in Western Sydney, will save approximately 90 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

“We know the most effective way to decarbonise a city is to attract more people onto public transport, and we can enhance that outcome with the integration of new technologies into mass transit networks.

“We’re proud to work alongside the Victorian government and our Australian manufacturing partners to trial new technologies with the delivery of the state’s first hydrogen buses.”

Data from the trial will provide practical information on how the zero emission buses perform – assessing things like how much energy they use and what is required to charge them for different route patterns.

“With the quieter and smoother journeys that come with cleaner technologies like hydrogen and electric, this is another win for the Footscray community where these vehicles will be based,” Member for Footscray Katie Hall says.

From 2025 onwards, all new buses purchased for Victoria’s public transport system will be zero emissions – this trial will provide valuable data on the transition of 4,000 diesel buses, including 2,200 in regional Victoria.

Transit Systems Victoria managing director John Storms added that the ZEB trial has solidified Victoria’s position as an industry leader in transport.

“We have created a milestone in delivering the state’s first two hydrogen buses, which are also proudly Australian built,” Storms says.

“Our customers are helping Australian manufacturing and building a more sustainable future just by tapping on, and we look forward to welcoming them aboard.”

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