ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to reducing carbon and particulate emissions from public transport with its Zero Emissions Bus Trial, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Transport Victoria.
The trial will see eight zero-emission buses operate in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and CBD, as part of the Victorian Government’s three-year Zero Emission Bus Trial, a significant part of meeting the State’s commitment to zero net emissions by 2050.
ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia’s subsidiary, CDC Victoria, will begin with the deployment of one battery-electric bus at its Oakleigh depot in November this year, providing customers with a safe, efficient, reliable, smooth, virtually silent, and emissions-free bus trips. This battery-electric bus will operate first on routes 601 and 630 covering Huntingdale Station, Monash University, Gardenvale Station and Ormond Station. The remaining seven battery-electric buses will be gradually rolled out across the three-year trial.
CDC will initially invest in six charging outlets at the Oakleigh Depot. A further two charging outlets will be installed at the Monash University Bus Interchange for in-field charging to maintain the range of the vehicles and better understand operational requirements for future in-field applications.
CDC will be upskilling its mechanics at the Oakleigh Depot to enable them to provide routine services on these vehicles.
Boosting Australian and Victorian employment opportunities, the trial is being run in collaboration with Volvo and Volgren to manufacture the vehicles, ENGIE to supply charging infrastructure, Monash University for offsite ‘top-up’ charging infrastructure and TSA Advisory for project support.
ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia CEO, Nicholas Yap, said the trial and the collaboration is another exciting demonstration of the company’s commitment to investing in zero emissions bus technology.
“For some time now, CDC has been investing in different zero-emission vehicle technologies to explore ways of achieving better environmental and community outcomes and assist governments with achieving net zero emissions by 2050,” Mr Yap said.
“We have recently announced our foray into hydrogen powered fuel cell electric buses and will be launching two in Geelong in late 2023.
“CDC is also the first and largest operator in Australia with low-emission hybrid bus technology with zone-based zero emissions.
“We look forward to working with the Department of Transport and our partners to build Victorian bus industry capability and knowledge in operating and maintaining zero-emission buses. This technology will drive decarbonisation of the public buses that so many Victorians depend on to be engaged in community and living,” he said.
Victorian Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll said the Statewide trial will be pivotal in the transition to a more environmentally friendly and sustainable transport network.
“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.
CDC Victoria CEO, Jeff Wilson, said that the trial is an exciting demonstration of how teamwork and strong collaboration can achieve great outcomes for our passengers, our communities, and our environment.
“We have worked closely with ENGIE and Monash University to set up facilities for the buses to be charged during the day at the Monash Clayton campus, which will provide an increased range for the buses and boost network performance,” Mr Wilson said.
“We are grateful to have been working with leaders in their respective fields, boosting local work opportunities while upskilling the staff within our depots to work on the technologies of the future.
“The drivers and staff at Oakleigh are looking forward to sharing this technology with the local communities,” he said.