Australia in Slow Lane with Only 0.2% of Buses Electric: Research

Despite the stated policy goals of State Governments, Australia is in the slow lane when it comes to electrifying our bus fleet with only 0.2% of buses electric, or 200 out of 100,000.

Experts are calling for greater policy ambition and investment to meet climate goals, reduce air and noise pollution, reduce road congestion, and provide economic opportunities.

Key Points:

  • Despite policy goals, only 0.2% of busses in Australia are electric, with just 200 / 100,000 busses in Australia being electric
  • 7 out of 10 (71%) Victorians support a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2030, with similar levels of support for local procurement of electric buses
  • The global fleet of electric busses must expand to 8 million by 2030 if net zero emissions is to be achieved by 2050
  • Electric busses significantly reduce:
    • Carbon emissions: in 2019-20 road vehicles contributed 85% of transport carbon emissions in Australia
    • Noise pollution
    • Road congestion
    • Air pollution
    • Fuel and maintenance costs
  • Report recommends State & Federal Governments commit to stronger targets and finance for electrification

“Electric buses are economically viable, environmentally sustainable and already operating internationally. We need stronger targets and funding in Australia to meet our goals,” said Rod Campbell, Research Director from the Australia Institute.

“Electrifying bus fleets is an easy first step that state governments can take toward achieving their net zero goals.

“Because the majority of the some 100,000 buses in Australia are publicly owned or funded, the pace and scale of transition can be accelerated dramatically by State Governments, should they wish.

“Cities with bus fleets significantly larger than those in Australian have been able to achieve full electrification, including in China’s Shenzhen which has a fully electrified 16,359-strong bus fleet.

“Buses are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and are also responsible for a disproportionately large amount of the noise and air pollution in our cities.

“There are multiple co-benefits to bus electrification, including reduced air and noise pollution, reduced road congestion and opportunities for manufacturing and maintenance jobs.”

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