As far as buses go, this was the high point of 2017 with a swag of exciting new models and new technology displayed to whet the appetite of interested patrons.
Promoted by the Queensland Bus Industry Council, the 2017 Expo was notable for a number of new model launches and a snapshot of what will undoubtedly unfold in the not too distant future.
Electrification seems the way forward particularly for metro buses. It was a point underlined by the fully electric, lightweight metro bus from Carbridge that uses electric power only for a range of about 4-500km.
Giant Chinese manufacturer Yutong launched its new hi-tech luxury coach called the T12 complete with a Mercedes-Benz engine and ZF transmission. It was the first time the T12 had been put on public display… anywhere.
Belgian manufacturer VanHool telegraphed its intentions to enter the Australian market with the appearance at the expo of the high quality EX16H coach already sold to the Sid Fogg operation out of Newcastle.
Van Hool is a big player on the European market using DAF engines with EU6 compliance.
With state governments looking for ways around easing congestion, smaller buses are being increasingly used for short urban runs to bigger transport hubs rather than using a full size bus. Iveco has signed up with ride share operator BRIDJ to supply Daily minibuses for such Uber style operations.
The European manufacturer has a BRIDJ bus on display based on the luxury, air suspension /leather upholstery version of the Daily minibus.
Not a bad way to go…
The expo emphasised the fact that telematics will play a greater role in bus fleet management in future with cost down pressure making it an attractive proposition for a number of providers Caltex included who offers a comprehensive fleet maintenance schedule.
But the highlight for us at C&B was the Concept Coach from Scania and Palmer Coaches resplendent in a lustrous titanium paint scheme running sumptuous StyleRide leather seats and a servery in the back.
That’s how bus travel should be…