Victoria has struck a $2.3 billion deal for more than a third of Melbourne’s metropolitan bus network to use low or zero emission vehicles.
Kinetic, which operates SkyBus and runs local bus routes across Australia and New Zealand, has been awarded the contract to supply 341 buses between January next year and June 2031.
The company will introduce 36 fully electric network buses by mid-2025, including five by next June, to jump start the Andrews government’s pledge for all new public transport buses to be zero emissions from 2025.
It means more than half the city’s 537-vehicle Metropolitan Bus Franchise fleet will be replaced.
Transport Minister Ben Carroll says the new environmentally friendly electric and hybrid buses will be made at Volgren’s Dandenong South facility.
A minimum fleet target of 60 per cent local content will apply and Kinetic will also deliver on a local content target of 90 per cent for operations such as fuel and uniforms.
“We are jump starting our push for a zero-emissions bus fleet in Victoria to benefit the environment and help build our engineering, design and manufacturing expertise in these emerging technologies,” Mr Carroll said.
“The roll out of 36 electric buses early on in this partnership will accelerate our pledge for all new buses from 2025 to be zero emissions and … contribute to the learnings of the three-year Zero Emissions Bus Project.”
Victoria’s head of transport services Nick Foa said the tender process for the contract had been undertaken over 12 months.