Transit Systems has announced it has placed Australia’s largest order of electric buses as part of the NSW Zero Emission strategy, with 31 buses set to arrive progressively at their Sydney depots from February 2021 as part of Transport for NSW’s move to electrify its bus fleet by 2030.

The  announcement of the order comes following the ongoing and successful electric bus trial Transit has undertaken with Transport for NSW (TfNSW), which has seen the fleet of four zero emission electric buses rack up more than 300,000 kilometres over 18 months.

Clint Feuerherdt, Group CEO of SeaLink Travel Group which owns Transit Systems, said creating zero emission public transport solutions is an absolute priority.

“We continue to benchmark the commitment of the Transport Minister in NSW, and the dedication of TfNSW in delivering more sustainable services to the community. There is no doubt they are leading the charge when it comes to delivering a zero-emission network”.

“It is incredibly rewarding to be part of a forward-thinking team, and we’re excited about the opportunities as we continue to progress with more sustainable transport solutions,” he said.

Mr Feuerherdt said that some drivers now prefer operating an electric bus, and customers have really enjoyed riding them.

“Some of the compliments we have received include that it was the most comfortable public transport journey they’d ever taken”.

“We have also received feedback that indicates customers would be more likely to travel on public transport knowing that it is an electric bus”.

“We commend the NSW Government on their vision and look forward to working with partners and suppliers to deliver more sustainable transport solutions across the globe,” he said.

The 31 new electric buses will be made by Nexport, BYD and Gemilang Australia.

Luke Todd, Managing Director of Nexport and Gemilang Australia who produce the buses, said that it is great to see the NSW Government commence large scale transition to zero emission public transport bus fleets.

“We are pleased to support Transit Systems – it has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience,” he said.

Transit Systems claims the zero emission buses it has been trialling have the same general specifiction as existing two door city buses in Sydney saying that after a full day of on-route service, generally between 150kms and 200 kms and around 11 to 12 hours in service, e-buses are returning to the depot with approximately 50 oper cent charge remaining in the batteries.

Transit says  the buses have achieved up to 16 hours in service time between charges with no issues with the regenerative braking delivering around 30 to 40per cent additional charge to batteries in a day.  The company says this figure results from the local operating environment, which includes real driving conditions in heavy traffic congestion, slow average speeds and stop start conditions.

Additionlly Transit said that after experiencing the e-buses, they are generally favoured over diesel and CNG buses by drivers.

The total battery capacity on the vehicles is 362kW. The vehicles performance has shown to be 0.8kWh/KLM, of which the vehicle regenerates approximately 30-40 per cent of its battery capacity through normal braking during service operations, depending on traffic conditions. With ViriCity software techniolgy installed, Transit Systems can remotely monitor real-time data and historical data to assist in all aspects of the electric bus operation.

The electric buses all feature next stop passenger information systems, which provide audio and visual route and location information for customers. The next stop systems will be fitted and progressively rolled out to all new buses in the Transit Systems Region Six fleet.