Transperth’s first electric bus getting ready for Joondalup trial

Transperth’s first electric bus getting ready for Joondalup trial Main Image
21 October 2021 
  • Historic Transperth bus is getting ready to be rolled out on network
  • Electric buses to operate on Joondalup CAT circuit from January 2022
  • Major step forward in sustainable public transport technology 

The very first Transperth electric bus has arrived in Perth in preparation for a trial in Joondalup.

The electric buses will be trialled on the Joondalup CAT bus route from early next year, marking the first time electric buses operate on the Transperth network.

The trial will determine the reliability and efficiency of the buses, with factors to be evaluated including performance, energy efficiency, emissions reductions, life-cycle costs and risks.

The vehicles will go through a commissioning process over coming months, including licensing, staff training and final testing before receiving their unique branding livery for the Joondalup CAT route.

The new bus is the first of two electric vehicles destined for the Joondalup route, with the second due for delivery later this year.

The Joondalup bus depot has been upgraded to accommodate the new electric buses. These upgrades include a high-voltage EV charging system, with the electric buses to be recharged at the depot, partly from a 100kW solar power array and battery storage system. 

The trial vehicles will be supplied by Volvo through its existing bus supply agreement, with the cost of a Volvo electric bus at the current Transperth specification estimated at $1 million per vehicle.

As part of the $549 million bus supply contract awarded in March 2019, Volvo Buses, in partnership with Volgren Australia, is supplying 90 buses a year for five years. This contract includes the potential to deliver additional electric vehicles in the future, if the trial is a success.

The partnership between Volgren and Volvo means that should the trial be successful, future electric buses can be fitted out locally at the Volgren facility in Malaga, supporting local jobs and apprenticeships.

Over time, it is envisaged that the Perth CAT bus network will transition to electric buses.

The McGowan Government has a number of major transport projects underway or planned for the northern suburbs including the Yanchep Rail Extension, Mitchell Freeway southbound widening and Mitchell Freeway Extension.

 Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

"This is Transperth's very first electric bus and I am excited to see it rolled out on the Joondalup CAT bus network early next year.

"Trialling new, green technology is a great use of our public transport network - already one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around Perth.

"Over time, we hope to introduce electric buses on other parts of the Transperth network, such as on Perth CAT bus routes.

"We also plan to build these electric buses in WA, creating more jobs for Western Australians."

Comments attributed to Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton:

"I am excited Joondalup is the location that will be trialling an electric CAT bus service in the city centre and I hope that we can be the leader in the metropolitan area for this technology.

"It's important we look to alternative technologies for our public transport bus fleet in the future.

"I know that our community will support the use of alternative technologies to power our public transport."