South Australia’s public transport system takes another step towards becoming greener and more energy efficient, with the adoption of hybrid energy technologies for 17 new Adelaide Metro buses and more than half of the existing fleet of diesel trains.
Forty-five of the state’s 70 diesel cars will be upgraded with hybrid energy storage and recovery systems as part of a $ 10 million 2021-2022 state budget initiative to reduce fuel consumption, noise, vibration and diesel emissions from the fleet.
Marshall’s Liberal government order for 20 new buses worth $ 12 million, including 17 new hybrid electric buses and three new articulated diesel buses, will be supplied by contractor Scania Australia and carried out locally by the southern company – Australian Bustech.
The order is part of the government’s commitment to new and expanded bus services to meet an expected increase in demand from high school students next year, when grade 7 moves to public high schools.
Infrastructure and Transport Minister Corey Wingard said hybrid vehicles were an important step towards a greener public transport system.
“Marshall’s Liberal government is committed to providing an efficient, effective and greener public transportation system,” said Minister Wingard.
“We also want to provide the next generation of students with a cleaner and greener public transit experience, especially as the 7th grade moves into public high schools starting next year.
“Scania’s hybrid-electric buses can reduce emissions by up to 92%, especially when stopping to pick up or drop off students or when traveling in silent mode on battery power.
“As a bonus, our adoption of the Scania Hybrid for the Adelaide Metro fleet is also creating jobs for South Australians, as it has resulted in an increase in the number of employees at Bustech dedicated to building bus bodies. “
Education Minister John Gardner said the new fleet of hybrid electric buses will help meet increased commuter demand in public high schools.
“Next year, South Australia’s 7th grade students will finally benefit from the transition to high school – where they will have access to the specialist teachers and learning environments for which the National Grade 7 curriculum is designed,” said Minister Gardner.
“It’s fantastic that the students making the trip to high school next year have these new, greener and more fuel-efficient buses to help them on their way.
“This is an exciting time for public education in our state and it’s yet another step in the transition from grade 7 to high school – a move that will bring us in line with the rest of the nation and help lead. our students to be the best they can be for the future of South Australia.
The first three of the new hybrid buses have already rolled off the production line and are now in service.
The remainder of the 20 buses, including articulated vehicles, are expected to be built by December 2021 and in service with Adelaide Metro in time for the start of period 1 2022.
Elder MP Carolyn Power said young people are increasingly interested in reducing their environmental footprint and living more sustainably.
“Our offering of hybrid electric public transport options for school students demonstrates our commitment to supporting them on this journey and working towards a greener future,” said Ms. Power.
Minister Wingard said the hybrid energy systems installed on our diesel trains will allow excess energy to be recovered while the train is braking, to be stored in batteries for later use.
“This will improve reliability and reduce operating costs, while providing a cleaner and more attractive service to passengers by eliminating diesel fumes when trains are under cover at Adelaide station,” the minister said. Wingard.
“Fuel costs will be reduced by up to 20 percent, with improved fuel efficiency resulting in savings of around $ 1.3 million per year. Operating costs are expected to be reduced by $ 4 million over the remaining life of the fleet. “
The Department of Infrastructure and Transport owns and manages a fleet of 70 diesel railcars and 22 three-car electric trainsets (EMU) (made up of 66 railcars).
A further 12 EMUs (consisting of 36 wagons) are currently in production to enable fully electric operations on all Seaford, Tonsley and Gawler lines.
These 12 new EMUs will be gradually put into service on the Gawler line from the start of 2022.
Future improvements to the network will include exploring the use of hydrogen, electric and hybrid engines.