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WA awards first electric bus charging station contract in Perth

The contract for the charging infrastructure has been awarded, with a timeline mapped out for the rollout of Perth’s first electric bus station

In a joint statement released by the Western Australian and federal governments, the push to electrify WA’s bus fleet has reached a huge milestone with the awarding of a contract to install charging infrastructure at a major Perth bus station.

The contract has been awarded to JET Charge, who will design, supply, install and commission the electric bus charging infrastructure at Elizabeth Quay bus station.

“This is just one example of the federal government working with the Western Australian government to deliver vital transport projects to greatly improve services and travel times for public transport commuters in Perth,” federal transport minister Catherine King says.

“This funding partnership with the Western Australian government will continue to boost the Perth economy for years to come by supporting the growth of vibrant urban centres through integrated transport and providing sustainable alternative transport options.”

The contract, worth $1.65 million, will see 18 electric bus charging dispensers and the associated charging management system and software installed at the station.

Once complete, the infrastructure will support the operation of 18 electric Perth CAT buses and will make Elizabeth Quay the first WA bus station to support electric buses.

The works to install the new charging infrastructure begin in early 2024, with the first electric Perth CAT buses to run by the middle of 2024.

The WA and federal governments say all 18 electric Perth CAT buses will be in operation by mid-2025, with each electric bus being able to travel around 330 kilometres on a single charge.

“Our governments are focused on transitioning our bus fleet to fully electric and this is really important step in making that a reality,” WA transport minister Rita Saffioti says.

“We’re investing in new electric buses, but also ensuring we have the infrastructure in place to support those electric buses and delivering the facilities so we can manufacture and build the buses right here in Western Australia.

“The move to electric buses is a positive step to emitting fewer greenhouse gases than diesel and natural gas-powered models.

“By the middle of next year Perth CAT passengers will be able to get around the CBD in a more environmentally friendly way.”

The installation of the new electric charging infrastructure is part of a $250 million joint initiative between the federal and WA governments.

The initiative will see the delivery of 130 new electric buses, the installation of charging infrastructure at key depots and major upgrades to manufacturing facilities to support the production of electric buses.

JET Charge CEO Tim Washington says the company is honoured to play a pivotal role in the journey towards electrifying the bus fleet and contributing to a cleaner environment for the people of Perth.

“We’re committed to providing the cutting-edge charging infrastructure required to support the electric buses of the future, and we can’t wait to witness the positive impact this project will have on the community, environment, and the future of public transportation in Western Australia,” Washington says.

“We extend our sincere gratitude to the federal and WA state governments via the Public Transport Authority for entrusting us with this significant project.”

JET Charge bus sector lead Alex Bowler says the Kempower DC satellite system charge technology will play a crucial role in the WA bus transformation.

“Its unique modular architecture with dynamic power management allows high output from a compact footprint, so it’s perfectly suited to optimising spatial restrictions at Elizabeth Quay and working among busy bus movements,” Bowler says.

The delivery of a new fleet of electric buses comes after a trial of four electric buses began in the Joondalup area in February last year.

All four electric buses are still in service, operating from the Joondalup bus depot using a high-voltage EV charging system to power the buses.

Successful results in the first year of the trial saw the electric buses carry more than 250,000 passengers over 140,000 kilometres, saving about 230 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the process.

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