Swinburne unveils Australian-first electric bus

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Swinburne team who design, built and manufactured Australia's first electric bus

Working in partnership with BusTech and AutoCRC, Swinburne University of Technology has helped develop the first electric bus to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia. 

The first concept demonstrator bus has today been unveiled at the 2015 Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo in Melbourne.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, International Research Engagement, Professor Ajay Kapoor, said that Swinburne was well placed to work and conduct research on electric vehicles, bringing together experts from the automotive industry, working alongside academics with expertise in electric vehicle technologies.

“Our research and development has involved solving the challenges of integrating electric vehicle technologies using computer-aided engineering to design and configure sub-systems into the bus platform,” Professor Kapoor said.

“We developed high and low voltage electrical systems for the bus, including the design architecture for electrical circuit motor controls, supervisory control and other control systems to ensure the most efficient operation for the electric bus.”

Professor Kapoor said that one of objectives of the electric bus development was to come up with a future-proof concept, which will enable upgrades as the technology evolves. 

“This was a key aspect to achieving product life-cycle cost savings,” Professor Kapoor said.

“On average, the electric bus will be 80 per cent cheaper to maintain than the diesel buses currently being driven in Australia.

“I’d really like to see the Australian government invest in this technology. For the sake of the environment, as well as the future of manufacturing in Australia,” Professor Kapoor said.

AutoCRC Research Director, Dr Gary White, said that AutoCRC is focussed on finding and developing international opportunities for Australian manufacturers and researchers. 

"This project is proof of not just the new technology we have developed, but also demonstrates the capability of Australia and the role we can play in the global marketplace."

The electric bus project is a joint collaboration between BusTech (part of Transit Australia Group), AutoCRC and the Malaysian Automotive Institute.

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