Media Release: Chris Steel MLA, 25 January 2023

Bus 800 was displayed to the media on 25 January

The ACT’s first permanent[1] electric bus has hit the road and Canberrans now have access to the latest comfort and reliability in public transport technology.

“This is an important milestone for our city as we deliver the infrastructure to bring our public transport system away from diesel and into cleaner sources of fuel,” said Minister for Transport Chris Steel.

“We’ve been ambitious with our investment program to deliver this technology, with 11 more battery electric buses to begin operations across Canberra in the coming weeks and procurement to purchase 90 more underway.

“This is just the start of our program that will see Canberra eventually move to a completely zero emissions public transport network that is powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2040 or earlier.

“It means we’re on the right path to deliver the world class public transport network Canberrans deserve, with a mass-transit system in light rail linking north and south of our city, integrated with zero-emissions buses to the suburbs.”

While the ACT Government is continuing to lead the nation on climate action there is still work to deliver a 100 per cent accessible public transport network.

Part of our Zero-Emission Plan for Transport Canberra is to replace our fleet of older buses with the latest technology that is accessible for all people in our community who need these services.

Supply chain issues experienced by Scania have disrupted the arrival of 26 leased low-emissions diesel buses, which were expected for delivery by the end of 2022.

These leased low-emissions diesel buses, combined with the delivery of the new battery electric buses, were intended to ensure Canberra’s bus services were compliant with accessibility requirements in the short term whilst the Government purchased 90 electric buses.

“The delay in the delivery of the 26 low-emissions diesel buses means that a small number of old non-accessible diesel Renault buses can’t be completely phased out of our fleet immediately,” said Minister Steel.

“Fully compliant low-emissions diesel buses are now expected to be delivered throughout the first half of this year, which will replace the remaining Renault buses progressively over the first half of this year.

“While a total of 93 per cent[2] of our city’s buses are already compliant with disability access requirements set out under the Disability Discrimination Act, unfortunately the old orange Renault diesel buses will continue to be used on the bus network for a short period to maintain services for the community until the replacement buses arrive.

“Canberrans are encouraged to use the journey planner and NXTBUS to identify the type of bus running on that service and whether it is compliant with the DDA standards.”

Canberra’s first 12[3] electric buses are Yutong E12s. Yutong is supplying charging infrastructure as part of the delivery of this new technology.

Transport Canberra visited Scania’s Adelaide plant[4] earlier this month to inspect the first of the 26 low-emissions diesel buses.

For more information visit Zero-Emission Transition Plan For Transport Canberra.


  1. The Yutong battery electric buses are being leased from Vehicle Dealers International for up to 5 years – while this is a longer term than previous trial buses, it does not meet the definition of “permanent”
  2. Based on Fleet Information maintained by ACT Bus, the percentage of buses in the fleet compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act as at 25 January 2023 is 92%
  3. Canberra’s first electric buses were 2 BYD K9RA “Carbridge Toro” buses trialled between 2017 & 2019; the new buses represent the 4th to the 15th battery electric buses to be part of the ACTION / Transport Canberra fleet
  4. It is more likely that the visit was to the BusTech Group body plant in Edinburgh, SA rather than Scania, who have a dealership in Adelaide but not a plant

This page was last updated on 2 February 2024