NSW has announced that the state’s first trial of a hydrogen-powered electric bus will begin on the Central Coast later this year, as part of the State Government’s transition of its fleet to zero emission technology.

The Government  said it is partnering with local and national industry suppliers to test the future fuel source.

NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the project would “help create a thriving green hydrogen industry in NSW”.

“Unlocking hydrogen use in the heavy transport sector is key to creating new industries and achieving the economic prosperity that comes with it,” Matt Kean said.

“A green hydrogen industry will encourage NSW investment in clean technology, grow our economy, boost our exports and support regional jobs,” the treasurer added.

The project is a partnership with the Department of Planning and Environment, Sydney based bus manufacturer ARCC, Central Coast operator Red Bus, and Origin Energy.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway said industry is partnering with bus operators to develop trials, to understand how the technology could be implemented across regional NSW.

“Hydrogen buses have a greater range than battery electric buses, which could make them better suited for use in regional and outer metropolitan areas of the state,” Sam Farraway said.

“This trial is the first step towards us getting a better understanding of how hydrogen buses perform in local conditions, as well as the infrastructure needed to support them.

“The results of the battery electric bus trial on the Central Coast will be compared against the hydrogen bus to understand any key differences, including fuel economy and refuelling times.

“In some regional areas buses need to travel greater distances before they refuel which is why trials like this are important.”

Managing director and founder of ARCC Peter Murley said his Australian-owned business was committed to a sustainable, zero-emission transport future.

“Our focus is on helping local and state governments reach zero-emission targets with turnkey transport options that are 100 per cent Australian designed, built and supported,” Peter Murley said.

On-road testing will take place on roads surrounding the development facility at Smithfield before the trial begins.

The first hydrogen fuel cell electric bus is expected to arrive on the Central Coast later this year before starting a local trial of the technology