Transport for NSW’s procurement panel has confirmed that Bus maker BusTech Group and its ZD1 electric bus is the only locally manufactured zero-emission bus to be approved for the NSW public transport market.

According to BusTech Group, the ZDi electric bus has been designed, engineered and built in Australia to ‘accelerate the future of clean, efficient and emission-free transport solutions for NSW and Australia while also harnessing domestic capabilities’.

“Our admission to the NSW procurement panel reaffirms the Group’s commitment to delivering the next generation of zero-emission connected transit for the NSW market, giving a real choice for domestic product versus international import models,” said Christian Reynolds, Executive Chairman of BusTech Group.

BusTech points out in its statement that transport sector is currently the second largest and fastest growing emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in NSW and Australia.

To combat this acceleration, the NSW government has committed to transition its entire bus fleet to zero emissions within the decade, starting with 120 electric buses in 2021, and ultimately to convert all 8,000 buses in its fleet to zero emission by 2030.

“BusTech Group supports the NSW government’s initiative to transition to a fully zero emissions bus fleet. We are committed to creating a more sustainable environment and economy by delivering the future of clean, efficient and emission-free public transport in NSW and Australia more broadly,” said BusTech Group’s director of sustainability Kasia Pitman.

Through a strategic engineering and supply partnership with Proterra, a company partly oppwned by Daimler and the leading battery and powertrain solution provider in the US, BusTech Group has developed an all-electric ZDi 12.5-meter transit bus. This innovative, modern solution offers 5 industry leading features:

BusTech Group says its ZDi bus offers the highest stored energy of any bus on the Australian market, delivering 450 kwH of stored energy.

“The all-electric ZDi’s battery pack provides over 420kwh of useable energy, enabling maximum range beforerequiring a recharge. This provides operators flexibility in both operational use and charging strategy, whilst also addressing Australia’s extreme weather conditions,” said BusTech’s chief technical officer, Gregg Dinning.

The company claims its  ZDi bus offers the highest energy density battery pack, which it says means more stored energy in every kilogram of battery pack, and more range without compromising on passenger capacity.

It added that large energy storage allows the Group to provide flexibility to its customers on charging strategies.

The company says that recognising the operational challenges if all buses need charging at the same time, means this model reduces the need to charge all buses each day, ultimately cutting down the real-estate impact of a low battery capacity vehicle by reducing the number of required chargers.

BusTech also claims the  ZDi bus offers the highest value for money with the lowest cost per kilowatt hour of useable energy, providing the lowest cost per kilometre of operation.

“Ultimately, our advanced solution provides the NSW market with the most energy-dense and industry-leading zero-emission bus platform on the Australian market, while also ensuring the lowest possible cost per kilometre, giving both value for money in a capital purchase and also in day-to-day operations,” adds Gregg Dinning .

BusTech says the Proterra-powered battery packs have undergone extensive testing to meet the highest safety standards and are designed specifically for safe operation in heavy duty transport.

“For example, our Proterra-powered batteries have an armoured coating which minimises the likelihood of damage from regular occurrences such as road furniture strikes or sudden impacts. The ZDi is also engineered for a 25-year lifecycle and can adopt future battery technology upgrades without the need for structural modifications,” said  Christian Reynolds.

The company claims it manufactures buses with the highest local content of any bus available in Australia and says recognises the importance of sovereign capability and are passionate about sourcing local supplychains and empowering local SME’s.

“We use a supply chain that is over 95  per cent located in Australia, this not only creates economic benefits and generates employment opportunities, but also ensures the lowest carbon emissions manufacturing footprint of any bus available in Australia,” says Kasia Pitman.

BusTech also says it has commenced development of a NSW-based manufacturing facility, which will focuson zero-emissions technology buses for Sydney and wider NSW markets, which it says  will create furtherjobs and increase economic value for Australia.

The company says production of its electric buses will commence in NSW later this year, providing the first facility in Australia focused on zero emission buses.

In addition to the 60 confirmed orders for the electric ZDi bus, BusTech Group says it has plans to expand beyond electric buses, ultimately creating a fully electric mass mobility ecosystem, including scalable commercial vehicles.

“We’re motivated not only by the emission reduction benefits of sustainable multimodal solutions, but also the cost reductions for our customers over the life of the vehicle. Be it buses or commercial vehicles, our solutions aim to benefit public health, the economy and employment opportunities in Australia through local manufacturing, leveraging the capabilities and capacity within the Australian market,” says Christian Reynolds.