Victoria boosts clean tech, local manufacturing support with latest zero emissions bus rollout

Image credit: Minister Ben Carroll's Twitter

The Andrews Labor government is ramping up support for cleaner technologies and local manufacturing with state funding for the Zero Emissions Bus rollout, which starts in Melbourne’s west. 

Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll and Minister for Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio visited the Transit Systems depot in West Footscray, which now has nine new electric buses deployed across popular routes in Melbourne, including Williamstown, Moonee Ponds, Footscray, and Sunshine. 

Transit Systems is one of six operators across Victoria taking part in the trial, which will see 52 zero emissions buses– comprised of 50 electric and two Victorian-first hydrogen buses— rolled out across Melbourne, Traralgon, and Seymour. 

The depot’s upgrade as the base for the electric buses fleet is a part of the Victorian government’s $20 million allocation from Budget 2023/24 for the Zero Emissions Bus Trial. 

“The Zero Emissions Bus Trial is one of the key parts of Victoria’s ambitious climate action agenda and will help us meet our world-leading emissions reduction targets of 75-80 per cent by 2035 and net zero by 2045,” Minister D’Ambrosio said. 

Data collected from the trial will provide practical information on the performance of zero emission buses and the energy and charging requirements for different types of routes, and insights into how the buses can improve financial and environmental sustainability. 

“This is a huge benefit for passengers in Footscray as we fast track our transition to a clean bus fleet – with these new zero emissions buses to create smoother journeys and quiet buses in our streets,” said Member for Footscray Katie Hall. 

The trial also seeks to foster local partnerships with energy providers and manufacturers, which are needed to achieve the transition across Victoria. 

“We’re investing in cleaner technologies, supporting local manufacturing and delivering a more modern, efficient and reliable bus network that gets passengers where they need to go,” said Minister Carroll. 

The allocation from the Victorian Budget is aligned with new 10-year metropolitan bus contracts, which aim to put more clean transport on the network by 2035. 

In an effort to achieve its world-leading emissions reduction target, the Victorian government has deployed a series of strong actions across the state, including helping farmers cut emissions, storing carbon in the landscape, and driving down emissions in the waste sector by establishing a circular economy.