Commuters on the Joondalup CAT route will travel in style on an electric bus as part of a Western Australian-first trial.
From early 2022, battery-electric buses will operate on the Joondalup CAT service, with a contract to modify the Joondalup bus depot, to include a high-voltage EV charging system, to be awarded in coming months.
The Joondalup CAT route was chosen because its five-kilometre circuit is ideal for the trial operation of an electric bus.
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 a new $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, supporting local jobs and apprenticeships.
The contract includes an option for Volvo to provide alternative technology, such as battery-electric buses which emit fewer greenhouses gases than diesel and natural gas-powered models.
Safety, reliability and efficiency will be among the key considerations examined under the trial.
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 Ocean Reef Road interchange.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“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.
“This is the first time we have trialled electric buses on a CAT route and I’m excited to see what commuters think about this new technology.
“The Member for Joondalup raised the issue of electric buses with me in Parliament last year and I’m pleased we have been able to work together to deliver this for the local community.
“We are committed to expanding transport options for northern suburbs residents and this trial complements a range of other projects we have underway or planned including the Yanchep Rail Extension and Mitchell Freeway widening.”
As stated by Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton:
“I am excited that 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.”