NSW government launches first hydrogen-powered bus trial
The NSW government is trialing its first hydrogen-powered bus on the state’s central coast.
The project is a partnership between the Department of Planning and Environment, local bus manufacturer ARCC, Central Coast operator Red Bus, and Origin Energy.
The government is hailing the trial as an important milestone in plans to transition the state’s 8000-strong public transport fleet to zero emissions technology by 2047, and says it well help evaluate how well hydrogen stacks up against electric as a clean energy technology.
Local MP Adam Crouch says the trial will help establish the most suitable zero emissions technology for regional and rural communities.
“Red Bus has already conducted a trial using a battery electric bus so this trial will allow for a direct comparison between how electric and hydrogen perform in the same location,” he said.
Zero buses transition plan
The Zero Emission Buses Transition Plan aims to see the transition completed in Greater Sydney by 2035, outer metropolitan regions by 2040 and Regional NSW by 2047.
The government is delivering its multi-billion dollar zero emissions buses in stages so new technologies can be assessed along the way.
The first stage, set for this year, aims to introduce 1,200 new electric buses for Greater Sydney by 2028.
As part of stage one, 11 existing bus depots will be upgraded to support the new fleet and a new bus depot will be built in north western Sydney.
Banking on the hydrogen industry
Roads and regional transport minister Sam Farraway says the new hydrogen bus is believed to be the first of its kind manufactured in NSW.
“We know this trial will be key to supporting the development of the hydrogen industry right here in NSW,” in a statement.
The trial comes as the government awarded up to $64 million for green hydrogen hub projects in the Illawarra and Moree and opens applications for $1.5 billion in concessions for large-scale green hydrogen producers.
The incentives are part of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy, which aims to attract around $80 billion in private investment by 2050.
Treasurer and energy minister Matt Kean says the funding will see the first green hydrogen produced in the Illawarra, with at least four refuelling stations to be developed in the region.
The Moree hydrogen hub project will convert green hydrogen into green ammonia used to fertilise cotton and other farms across the region.
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