Country and City team up for ZEB insights


Country and city team up for ZEB insights

Left to Right – Brett Perrim, Mike Leigh, Merlinda Hyde, Steve Shaw, Dianne Nepia, Amy Johnson, Rodney Masters, Obre Pemberton, Charmaine Blair, Isobelle Blair

Busways recently hosted two Transport for NSW (TfNSW) teams at our Penrith depot to provide insights on best approaches for rollout of Zero Emissions Buses.

The tour last week provided the TfNSW Senior Regional and Outer Metro (ROM) Contract team and Infrastructure and Place team who are delivering ZEBs for TfNSW with lessons learnt from deployment of our Battery Electric Buses (BEBs) in Penrith with scalable supportive infrastructure.

“Since 2020, Busways has invested heavily in Penrith Depot’s electric charging infrastructure and run several trials prior to rolling out our first ZEBs in Western Sydney in 2021, with more to arrive soon,” said Joe Kotevich, Busways Zero Emission Bus and Innovation Manager.

“Planning scalable infrastructure as well as the way ZEBs are built into contracts are the key to successful introduction of an electric fleet and a lower emissions future,” Mr Kotevich said.

He talked to the TfNSW ROM team led by Director, Rural and Regional Contracts Obre Pemberton, through Busways’ approach to depot redesign, electrification works and infrastructure upgrades, training and overall lessons learnt for introduction of electric buses.

A tour of the depot showed Busways’ energy optimisation software and design layout for cabling, distribution, main switchboards and pedestal charging outlets.

“We completed the visit with a smooth and quiet drive in our Custom Element Fleet 5001 to experience, some for the first time, a journey in a BEB,” Mr Kotevich said.

“With 13 depots and nine contracts in NSW rural, regional and outer metro areas, plus a current ZEB testing project in Coffs Harbour, we’re looking forward to continuing to work with TfNSW on the planning for zero emissions buses outside of Sydney,” he said.

“Busways is testing a new Volvo BZL model in our Coffs Harbour region until the end of March, with good results so far having travelled over 5,000 kilometres. 

“The two-month test is the first public run in NSW for this model with the bus body built locally in Macksville by Express Coach Builders and we are looking to see how it does in a regional environment with longer travel distances and higher temperatures

“Initial feedback has been fantastic with drivers and passengers welcoming the quietness and smoothness and statistics showing that even a single electric bus has prevented over 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide and other tailpipe emissions from entering the environment over just the first four weeks of the test.”