Metro Electric Bus Arrives for Testing in Brisbane

Brisbane City Council has announced that a pilot metro electric bus has arrived in Brisbane for testing.

The metro electric bus and its charging system is to help future-proof Brisbane’s transport network by providing a faster, more efficient, zero-emission transport option.

The new bus rapid transit service will expand Brisbane’s public transport capacity using the city’s existing busways, as each 24-metre metro vehicle can transport 150 passengers, or 170 passengers in ‘event mode’. The service will therefore offer the benefits of a light rail system without the need for tracks, overhead lines or new infrastructure.

The vehicles will have all-door boarding, passenger information displays, USB charging points, on-board wifi and panoramic windows throughout

The pilot vehicle will now undergo important testing across Greater Brisbane throughout 2022 and 2023. Following the pilot, the council will have the option to purchase 59 additional metros for a fleet of 60 battery electric, high‑capacity buses, which are expected to start service in 2024.

A flash charging system will charge the batteries of the electric metro vehicles in less than six minutes at the end of each route using overhead pantograph infrastructure. Slow chargers will also be used at the metro depot to increase the vehicle’s battery lifespan and optimise energy consumption from Brisbane’s energy grid during off-peak periods.

The chosen charging strategy aims to balance battery size and life with infrastructure impact and operational efficiency

Brisbane Council is working with HESS, Hitachi Energy and Volgren to design and build the battery electric metro fleet and the accompanying flash charging infrastructure.

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