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Metro Tasmania Zero Emission Buses

Battery Electric Bus Trial

Launceston – Currently in trial

Battery Electric Bus Trial

In Launceston, Metro is conducting a two-year trial of four Battery Electric Buses. This trial will allow us to collect valuable insights and data as part of our journey towards a more sustainable and efficient public transport system for Tasmania.

Understanding Battery Electric Buses

Battery Electric Buses, or BEBs, are at the forefront of many cities’ modern public transport solutions. At their core, these buses are very similar to diesel buses, with the key difference being the way they are powered. A BEB uses an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine with the energy coming from on-board batteries.
BEBs are good for the environment, as they produce no exhaust or greenhouse gas emissions. They are also good for passengers who will experience a smooth and quiet ride. Regenerative braking is a key feature of BEBs, where energy from braking puts charge back into the batteries. This typically returns about a third of energy consumed during driving to the battery, significantly improving the energy efficiency of a BEB.

What Powers a Battery Electric Bus?

At the heart of a BEB is its electric motor, powered by a set of large batteries. Unlike traditional buses that rely on diesel, BEBs use electricity as their fuel. These batteries are similar to what you find in an electric car, but much bigger and more powerful.
How Do These Buses Get Their Energy?
Just like charging an electric car, BEBs get their energy from the power grid. They plug into special charging stations, located at our bus depot, that pump electricity into the batteries, storing enough power to keep the bus running for their journey.
Tasmania is one of the few places in the world that already has the capacity to be 100% self-sufficient in renewable electricity through sources like Tasmanian hydro, wind and solar. This allows us to use this emissions-free electricity to power a battery electric bus, differentiating the on-road portion of our trial as renewables-driven compared to battery electric buses that are run on predominantly fossil fuel-powered electricity.

Why Are BEBs Good for Our Environment?

Since BEBs run on electricity, they don’t burn fuel or produce exhaust fumes. This means no harmful emissions like carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxides, which are common pollutants from standard buses.

What’s the Ride Like?

Hop on a BEB and you might notice how quiet it is. Electric buses don’t have the rumble of a diesel engine, making for a smoother and quieter ride. They’re also known for their quick and smooth acceleration.

Are BEBs Reliable?

BEBs are designed to handle various routes, from bustling city streets to quiet suburban roads. With advancements in battery technology, these buses can run for hours and cover significant distances on a single charge. Plus, with fewer moving parts than traditional engines, there’s less wear and tear, making them more reliable and easier to maintain. Part of this trial will provide valuable data on how our BEBs handle Launceston’s hilly terrain and Tasmania’s varying weather conditions.

Join Us on a BEB Journey!

Our four Battery Electric Buses will be operating as part of Metro’s Launceston fleet across a range of routes and schedules, meaning many of our customers will get a chance to experience a BEB during normal commutes over the life of the trial. Keep an eye out for the big blue buses on your next Metro journey!

Track our Battery Electric Buses

Check back soon to see some of the real-time key performance measures from our Battery Electric Bus trial, including distances travelled, carbon savings, and the locations of our buses.