Busways’ electric bus busily on duty

Busways’ electric bus, in trials on various Coffs Harbour routes, motored off to Canberra in February to serve members of the visiting Swedish royal family.

BUSWAYS’ electric bus that has been on trial in and around Coffs Harbour since January 2023 buzzed off to Canberra in February to perform a few days of royal duties.

Crown Princess Victoria, heir to the throne of Sweden, and her husband, Prince Daniel, arrived in Canberra on Sunday 12 February as part of a whirlwind tour of Australia and New Zealand and the Royal Highnesses were transported around the city on the 376kwh battery-operated bus.

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The Zero Emissions Bus (ZEB) from Swedish manufacturer Volvo, in its first Australian test in the Coffs Harbour region, features distinctive Aboriginal designed livery and a bus body manufactured locally in Macksville by Express Coach Builders.

With the bus back on the streets of Coffs Harbour, News Of The Area readers can literally sit where the royals sat to experience the new electric bus experience.

The bus is fitted with a wheelchair ramp and safety facilities for passengers and continues several months of trial in the city on school and route services.

The tests are to see how a European engineered electric bus compares to other models in a regional environment.

“Initial feedback has been fantastic with Coffs Harbour drivers and passengers welcoming the quietness and smoothness the electric bus offers,” Joe Kotevich, Busways’ Zero Emission Bus and Innovation Manager told NOTA.

“The bus has proven reliable and has comfortably dealt with the hot temperatures and varied terrain in the region.

“In just under four weeks so far, the bus has already travelled around 3000km with Busways and shown that a single electric bus on these services prevents over 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide and other tailpipe emissions from entering the local environment.

“The trial has generated valuable data and given vital teachings to Busways’ operational, driver and maintenance staff that will help us develop a blueprint for future electric bus deployments,” he said.

The Volvo BZL Chassis features the latest in Battery Electric Bus (BEB) technology including powerful dual 200kw motors producing 850nm of torque, 376kW lithium-ion battery, regenerative braking and can travel 300km between charges.


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