Sunbury a-buzz with first electric bus

Sunbury MP Josh Bull and Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll representatives from Seimens, Sunbury Coaches, Custom Denning and resident Sam.

Elsie Lange

Goonawarra resident Brad Stewart first spoke to his local MP about implementing electric buses in town about “three or four years ago”, and now he’s ridden on one in Sunbury.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association national union organiser and Australian Labor Party Sunbury branch president was part of a group welcoming one of the state’s first trial buses on Monday, May 2.

He joined Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll and Sunbury MP Josh Bull, alongside a number of representatives from Siemens, Sunbury Coaches and Custom Denning who are helping to deliver the first electric buses to the region.

Mr Bull said the development was exciting for the town.

“It’s great for the local community. Cleaner, more environmentally friendly public transport is something that I’m really passionate about, something the Andrews Labor government is really passionate about,” Mr Bull said.

As part of the state government announcement, three electric buses will be rolled out across Melbourne’s west as part of a three year zero emissions bus trial.

Sunbury will receive the first trial buses on the network, and Donric Group will partner with Custom Denning to have the only buses made entirely in Australia and powered by solid-state Lithium Metal Polymer batteries to be charged at the Sunbury depot.

Five bus operators will introduce 41 electric buses to the public network, in addition to 36 electric buses being rolled out across the metropolitan network that will operate from the Sunshine West and Heatherton Depots, the government said.

According to the government, under the current initiative, tens of thousands of commuters will be travelling on at least 78 “quieter, smoother and fume free” electric buses each week across Victoria by 2025.

Mr Carroll said the bus trial in the west will benefit the entire community by delivering environmental benefits and providing a smoother and quieter ride for passengers.

“Creating a greener fleet is part of our Bus Plan to develop a more modern and reliable network that will attract more people to the convenience of buses,” Mr Carroll said.