Australia’s first designed, engineered and manufactured electric bus was unveiled yesterday at the Australasian Bus Expo taking place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Developed through an AutoCRC international collaboration between industry partners Bustech (Transit Australia Group), Malaysia Automotive Institute and researchers Swinburne University of Technology and CSIRO, the “eBus” is widely seen as an important step forward for Australian manufacturing, illustrating that the country can be a “go-to” nation for R&D smarts and manufacturing capability for other countries.
“AutoCRC is very focused on finding and developing international opportunities for Australian manufacturers and researchers. We have a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Malaysia through the Malaysia Automotive Institute which had led to many fruitful collaborations, including the development of this exciting vehicle,” said AutoCRC Research Director, Dr Gary White.
“This project is proof of viability not just of the new technology we have developed, but also demonstrates the capability of Australia generally and it illustrates just one way in which we can play a role in the global marketplace.”
AutoCRC’s CEO Ian Christensen said the bus represented an important step forward in the quest to provide “sustainable environmentally friendly transport” options for Australia.
“As a country we need to be thinking about and acting on our national mobility to ensure our ongoing productivity and quality of life. Our future mobility will require new technology, better use of data, multi modal transport systems and, of course, low emissions. The eBus illustrates the strength of Australian capability in all these areas and we would love to see electric buses becoming commonplace in Australia,” he said.
Michael McGee, CEO of Transit Australia Group said the eBus illustrated Australia’s technological capability to compete in the global marketplace.
“Governments across the globe have already invested in electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support private and public transport. Our electric bus places Bustech at the forefront of a fast-growing and emerging industry,” Mr McGee said.
“Australia has an opportunity to be a world leader and cut environmental pollution at the same time.”
Professor Ajay Kapoor, Dean of Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology said the eBus project was a collaboration “success story”.
“The Swinburne EV Group has paired the skills of automotive engineers from GM Holden, Ford and Futuris with those of established Research Fellows to reach out to industry partners and together develop the next generation of sustainable transport,” Mr Kapoor said.
“We are excited to be leading the way in the development of electric vehicle technology with our collaborators AutoCRC, Bustech and Malaysia Automotive Institute and can see many more opportunities in this space.”
AutoCRC Ltd offers a broad range of skills and services to the manufacturing sector locally and internationally, with a focus on productivity, efficiency, sustainability and innovation.
Its multi-disciplinary research program focuses on developing low emissions technology in conjunction with key partners, whilst providing research opportunities and direction to small and medium sized manufacturers looking to participate in R&D.