The Australian Government is investing in electric buses. 

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $5 million in funding to support the pilot deployment of Australia’s largest electric bus fleet.

The money will go towards a new set of 40 electric buses, charging infrastructure and a retrofitted bus depot in Leichhardt in Sydney’s inner west.

The $36 million project is to be delivered by a Transgrid and Zenobe joint venture, receiving funding and in-kind support from project partners including Transit Systems and Transport for NSW.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is also providing financing of $24.5 million.

As part of the project, the Leichhardt depot is being retrofitted to include the use of 40 electric buses with a combination of 368 kWh and 422 kWh onboard batteries, five 120 kW electric bus chargers capable of charging two buses at a time, thirty one 80 kW electric bus chargers, 2.5 MW / 4.9 MWh of stationary batteries, and 387 kW of rooftop solar PV. 

The electric bus fleet will service public bus routes in Sydney’s Inner West, the CBD, Mascot and Green Square.

It is a big step up from previous electric bus trials in Australia, which have involved fewer than four buses each.

The first 12 of the 40 new electric buses will begin to enter service this month, with the rest of the fleet arriving over the next 4 months.