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Sitting on an electric bus in Australia

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Australia finally gets on the electric bus. Martin Hall, general manager Sale of bus stops, surprised by the number of electric buses arriving in Australia at the moment. “We’re playing catch-up,” he says. “It’s as if Australia has just woken up from electric buses.” Martin and I both exhibited at Solar Citizens EV last month.

The bus stop has been operating for over 40 years, both building bodies and importing diesel buses. Business is rapidly moving towards electric drive. The bus stop imports the Joylong electric minibus and the 12m Kinglong EVolution high-floor bus from China, and continues its activities to build a low-floor electric bus in Melbourne.

The Joylong electric bus can accommodate 14 people, a little less if equipped with a wheelchair lift. The bus stop has been importing Joylong for the past 12 months. Every month a delivery of 10 buses (mixed traffic) arrives and they sell them without any problems. The cost of the EV at $ 90,000 plus the cost of it on the road equates to the cost of a Toyota Hiace minibus, and given the low cost of fuel and maintenance, buying it is easy.

Martin tells me there has been a lot of interest from commercial operators, schools, mines and nonprofits.

Kinglong, which he showed us, is a demonstration model that will be launched later this year in Sydney, New Wales. The bus is designed for 46-53 people.

Kinglong tourist bus.

Having spent 14 years in public transport, Martin sees the results of electric cars “penetrating people’s thinking and causing awakening.” I asked what questions he was asking. “The same as when people ask about my Tesla,” he replied, “except that cost doesn’t seem to be the main issue.”

The school board chairman may ask: how far does it go on the fee? Kinglong will run up to 400km, and Joylong – 300+km excluding regeneration “They get a little more with regeneration”. The bus comes with its own solutions for mobile charging – ranging from a 3-phase charger to 800 volts, 20 A AC for Joylong.

Ironically, the question of the cost of the bus is lower on the list of questions than I expected. Kinglong costs $ 600,000, which is 40% more than its diesel equivalent. But the buyer should also consider lower operating costs, maintenance and landfill. The lack of belt drives for the engine and air conditioning, no oil drain, fewer filters and less brake wear help reduce the amount of material that gets on the tip every 3 months.

Australia nearly missed the bus, but it looks like we finally got on the electric bus.


 


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