Saturday, May 25, 2024

WA commits $125m to EV bus fleet expansion

The WA Government has confirmed $125 million will be allocated to an expansion of the State’s electric bus fleet in the 2023-24 budget.

Combined with a $125 million commitment from the Federal Government, the $250 million program will deliver 130 new locally-built electric buses and charging infrastructure at key depots, Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement on Sunday.

The 2023-24 State Budget will allocate an initial $22 million next financial year – funded through the Perth Parking Levy – to purchase and build 18 new electric buses and install electric charging infrastructure within Elizabeth Quay Bus Station, the Premier said.

“Electric vehicles are the future, and this investment will ensure Western Australia’s public transport network is clean and green for our net-zero future,” said Mr McGowan.

“Expanding our electric bus network is already having a tangible impact to reduce carbon emissions.

“Importantly, we will build these busses right here in Western Australia – creating local manufacturing jobs and supporting local businesses.”

He said the funding will expand upon the existing electric bus trial on the Joondalup CAT route, which has seen four battery-electric vehicles supplied through the Public Transport Authority’s existing bus agreement with Volvo to operate within the northern suburbs.

The electric quartet is estimated to have carried more than 250,000 passengers in the first 12 months and covered more than 140,000km, saving approximately 230 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

As part of the trial, the Joondalup bus depot received a high-voltage EV charging system which allows electric buses to be recharged overnight through a combination of the existing grid network and a 100kW solar array connected to a large on-site battery storage system.

“We have been running electric buses through Joondalup for the last year and the cleaner, greener technology has been popular among passengers,” said Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti.

“The ongoing success of the trial has allowed us to commit more funding to expand the electric bus program, getting more of this environmentally friendly technology on Perth streets.

“If four of these buses have managed to carry more than 250,000 passengers and save 230 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year, it is exciting to think what a growing fleet will be able to achieve in the near future,” she said.

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