Electric bus fleet

The Western Australian Government has committed $125 million towards an electric bus program in its 2023-24 State Budget, adding to a further $125 million allocated from the Federal Government. 

The $250 million program will deliver 130 new locally-built electric buses, as well as charging infrastructure at key depots.

Western Australia Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “Electric vehicles are the future, and this investment will ensure Western Australia’s public transport network is clean and green for our net-zero future.

“Expanding our electric bus network is already having a tangible impact to reduce carbon emissions.

“Importantly, we will build these buses right here in Western Australia – creating local manufacturing jobs and supporting local businesses.”

The 2023-24 State Budget will allocate an initial $22 million next financial year – funded through the Perth Parking Levy – to purchase and build 18 new electric buses and install electric charging infrastructure within Elizabeth Quay Bus Station.

The funding will expand upon the existing electric bus trial on the Joondalup CAT route, which has seen four battery-electric vehicles supplied through the Public Transport Authority’s existing bus agreement – with Volvo to operate within the northern suburbs.

The electric quartet is estimated to have carried more than 250,000 passengers in the first twelve months and covered more than 140,000km, saving approximately 230t of carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

Western Australia Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “We made a commitment last year to expand our fleet of electric buses, and the $125 million allocation in the upcoming State Budget makes good on that commitment.

“By partnering with the Federal Labor Government, we will see $250 million invested over the coming years to deliver around 130 new electric buses and for associated upgrades, including installing charging infrastructure at key depots.

“We have been running electric buses through Joondalup for the last year and the cleaner, greener technology has been popular among passengers.

“The ongoing success of the trial has allowed us to commit more funding to expand the electric bus program, getting more of this environmentally friendly technology on Perth streets.

“If four of these buses have managed to carry more than 250,000 passengers and save 230t of carbon dioxide emissions in a year, it is exciting to think what a growing fleet will be able to achieve in the near future.”

As part of the trial, the Joondalup bus depot received a high-voltage EV charging system which allows electric buses to be recharged overnight through a combination of the existing grid network and a 100kW solar array connected to a large on-site battery storage system.

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