Media Release: Chris Steel MLA, 22 February 2022

Transport Canberra will be leasing four Custom Denning Elements. Photo © Timothy Lau

The ACT Government has announced preferred suppliers for Canberra’s first 12 zero-emissions electric buses, with the final stage of procurement underway today to buy a further 90 electric buses.

“The first 12 battery electric buses combined with the purchase of a further 90 electric buses puts us well on the road to transition to a fully electric bus fleet by 2040 or earlier,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

“We set out to lease and to put into operation eight battery electric buses by the end of the year but instead we’re leasing 12 and we’re in the process of buying a further 90.”

Following the ACT Government’s nation-leading action to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity, transport now accounts for Canberra’s single largest source of emissions. Progressively transitioning to a zero emissions fleet is a practical step supporting Canberrans to take everyday action on climate change.

“These new electric buses will mean a cleaner, quieter and more comfortable ride while cutting emissions,” said Minister Steel.

“The ACT Government is on track to deliver practical, local action on climate change, creating new jobs as we deliver the infrastructure, skills and energy supply to support a fully zero emission bus fleet.”

In this first tranche, the Government’s preferred supplier is VDI Australia to lease eight Yutong E12 battery electric buses and associated charging equipment to operate from the Tuggeranong depot. This follows the successful trial of a Yutong E12 bus across Canberra’s bus network during 2020.

Custom Bus Group is the preferred supplier for another four Australian-made Custom Denning Element buses which use innovative solid-state batteries.

The ACT Government is also in negotiations with Scania Australia for short-term lease of 26 low-emission buses to immediately phase out the remaining 34 inaccessible and polluting Renault buses in the fleet this year. These will be replaced with the purchase of electric buses.

The Government has also opened the Request for Proposal to directly purchase a further 90 zero emission buses.

“We are delivering on our election commitment to buy a further 90 electric buses which will be housed at a new electric bus depot at Woden and existing depots,” said Minister Steel.

“Feasibility studies are also underway for a fourth electric depot on the Northside and retrofitting the Belconnen and Tuggeranong depots with electric charging infrastructure which will support our growing electric bus fleet.”

The registration process to participate in the tender for 90 battery electric buses is open until 8 March 2020, with the Request for Proposal from suppliers who successfully register commencing shortly thereafter.

Details of Preferred Suppliers

  • VDI Australia for the supply 8 of the Yutong E12.
  • Custom Bus Group for the supply 4 Custom Denning Element zero emission buses.
  • Scania Bustech for the supply of 26 K320UB Euro VI diesel buses.

This page was last updated on 25 February 2023