Transdev and Vlogren Collaborate to Bring 17 Electric Buses to South East Queensland

Transdev and Vlogren Collaborate to Bring 17 Electric Buses to South East Queensland

Seventeen electric buses will soon be added to South East Queensland’s public transport system through Eagle Farm-based company Volgren.

These buses, which will be progressively added to the existing fleet, will serve the eastern suburbs of Brisbane. The first e-bus commenced operations in February, with the remaining 16 expected to join the network soon.

The Queensland branch of the transport giant Transdev collaborated with Translink, the State Government public transport agency, to order these environmentally friendly buses. 

The buses will benefit from the solar system already installed at Transdev’s Capalaba depot, providing them with partial charging capabilities. Volgren’s manufacturing facility, located in Eagle Farm, will oversee the production of these buses.

Each of the 12.5-meter Volvo BZL buses will support five jobs and feature dual 300kW electric motors, accommodating 43 passengers. The new electric buses are not only more environmentally friendly but also quieter and fully equipped with modern features, according to Mark McKenzie, the managing director of Transdev Queensland.

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Transdev Queensland is undertaking significant depot work, including the installation of cabling, utilities, and new vehicle chargers, in preparation for an electric and hydrogen-based future. The introduction of these 17 electric buses plays a crucial role in achieving emissions reduction targets, as stated by Queensland’s energy minister, Mark Bailey. 

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The government plans to transition to zero-emissions buses, with all new buses on the South East Queensland urban network being zero-emissions starting from 2025. The implementation of zero-emission buses in regional areas will begin between 2025 and 2030.

In addition to their environmental benefits, the shift to electric buses also provides an opportunity for upskilling the local workforce in renewable energy. Transdev’s McKenzie hopes that the work being done with Translink can serve as a model for future zero-emission bus operators, offering valuable technical skills that can be transferred to other industries.

With these 17 new electric buses, Transdev’s Queensland fleet will consist of approximately one-fifth of zero-emissions vehicles. This move aligns with the government’s commitment to increasing the use of electric buses in the state. The Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Cairns already have a combined total of 20 electric buses in operation, and by the end of 2023, it is expected that over 50 electric buses will be deployed across Queensland.

The Queensland government aims to have all new bus purchases in the southeast region be electric by 2025. Meanwhile, regional bus purchases are targeted to be electric by 2030. These goals parallel similar initiatives in other states, such as the Australian Capital Territory, which has already made all new bus purchases electric, Victoria’s commitment to achieving this by 2025, and New South Wales plan to electrify its entire bus fleet by 2047.

The 17 new electric buses will be stationed at Transdev’s Capalaba depot and will rely partially on solar panels and electricity stored in 10 Tesla batteries for charging. Mark McKenzie explained that the buses will be recharged during periods of high demand and benefit from the charging opportunities provided by the existing solar farm.

Published 24 May 2023