Media Release: Chris Steel MLA, 23 October 2023

The ACT Government is continuing our transition to a zero-emission future with a new Custom Denning ‘Element’[1] low floor battery electric bus (BEB) about to hit the road.

Bus 748 was on display to the media at Belconnen Depot [📷Facebook: Andrew Barr]

“This is the first of four new Custom Denning electric buses that will join our growing fleet of zero-emissions vehicles on our pathway to electrify Canberra’s public transport,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

“According to the Australia Institute, the ACT is leading the country by the number of electric buses delivered per capita and these new buses will further increase our growing zero emission fleet.

“The ACT is also a leader in delivering nation leading electric vehicle training and we are supporting our heavy vehicle workforce to skill up for the transition to this new technology.

“These buses will be located out of the Belconnen bus depot, bolstering the number of zero-emission services running out of north Canberra.

“These ‘Element’ buses will provide clean, quiet and comfortable services that are zero emissions so that Canberrans can take everyday action on climate change by taking quality public transport.”

The new Custom Denning buses have been built in Sydney and will be based at the Belconnen Depot, with the appropriate charging infrastructure being installed at the depot using existing grid capacity for energy supply.

“Each of these buses takes around five hours to charge and can operate up to 400 kilometres on a full charge so they’ll be able to operate efficiently and effectively as part of our fleet,” said Minister Steel.

“Electric buses are cutting noise pollution and harmful noxious emissions on our streets. These buses are so quiet that they are fitted with sound warnings when the bus starts to reduce speeds below 20 kilometres per hour or starts to increase speeds up to 23 kilometres per hour. This promotes safety for pedestrians and people with vision impairment.

“The new buses will join our existing electric bus fleet which have collectively already travelled 400,000 kilometres, as part of our existing public transport network.”

The introduction of these four new electric buses will bring Canberra’s total electric bus fleet to 16, with an additional 90 electric buses set to be delivered in the next three years.

The Zero-Emission Transition Plan for Transport Canberra supports a transition to new skills for our public transport workers and grid and depot upgrades to support Transport Canberra’s growing electric bus fleet.

Quote attributable to Mick Neskes, National Relationship Manager, Custom Denning

“Custom Denning is both honoured and excited to be collaborating with Transport Canberra and the ACT Government in the electrification of the ACT bus fleet and the transition to a “net-zero” future.

“Custom Denning is Australian-owned and Australian-made certified, with the Element EV Bus designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia, creating over 200 jobs for a sustainable transportation future, and rebuilding Australia’s sovereign automotive manufacturing capability.

“Custom Denning buses are designed for a 25 year plus lifecycle, and we look forward to a long-term partnership with Transport Canberra and the ACT Government.”


  1. Actual model name is ‘Element 2’ ↩︎

As reported by Region Media, the four Custom Denning buses are being leased for 7 years, with an option to be purchased. The remaining three buses are expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

Mr Steel also revealed that the remaining Renault PR100.2 buses will continue in service until “early 2024” due to delays in receiving their planned replacements.

As at February 2024, the four Custom Denning Element 2 buses have not been registered.

This page was last updated on 2 February 2024