Brisbane’s Bustech is taking steps to get its slice of the e-bus market pie, with their most recent move being the announcement of two new partnerships, one with Queensland Labor, and another with Cummins, the US commercial vehicle company.
Bustech’s deal with the Queensland government will be for the construction of 10 electric busses, to be used by Labor for trials in 2021. These trials will look at the viability of e-buses for Queensland at large; for companies like Excellence Coaches operating in the area; for the public as well as private use.
The electric bus trials will run the popular Route 777 for a full 12 months, with passengers being transported between Broadbeach and Southeast Queensland’s Gold Coast Airport. These trials will cost approximately $1mn and are part of the government’s plans for boosting transport infrastructure in the region. Another trial will also be held in Logan.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk issued a statement on the matter, saying that building the next generation of electric transportation in Queensland is a chance for the region to create more jobs, boost investment in local manufacturing, and switch public transport to low-emission technology.
Local Queensland bus companies Clarks and Kinetic Group will be cooperating with Bustech for the trials. Queensland Minister for Transport Mark Bailey says that the trial is expected to create 150 new jobs in Gold Coast alone.
Bailey stated that they’ve been working on improving transportation infrastructure in Queensland, for the public and companies like Excellence Coaches, reporting the construction of light rail, as well as the electric vehicle superhighway, which is currently the world’s largest. The Minister for Transport added that they’re working on building electric buses, which will travel about 300kn on a single charge.
On top of the deal with the Queensland government, Bustech also secured a partnership with Cummins, for the manufacturing of bodies and frames for the US company’s powertrains.
Reportedly, the deal has a ‘one bus, three powertrain options’ clause aimed at futureproofing operator drivetrain requirements for the bodies’ 25-year lifetime. The powertrain components will be manufactured in the US, then shipped to Australia, where they’ll be integrated. Powertrains can be swapped between diesel, electric, and FCEV (fuel cell hydrogen) at any time.
Regarding the deal with Bustech and Cummins, pricing for it has yet to be publicly disclosed.