Sydney Integrates Electric Bus Charging with Energy Grid

Three Australian companies have launched a trial in Western Sydney to integrate bus depots with the energy grid to charge battery electric buses in New South Wales (NSW).

The project is funded by Transport for NSW’s Zero Emissions Bus programme and is being carried out by bus operator Busways, local software company Evenergi and Western Sydney electricity distributor Endeavour Energy.

The VEMO project is being undertaken by a cross-industry consortium of Australian companies
Byron Rowe, Busways’ managing director, said:

“To completely transition from diesel to electric, we need to work with the energy sector to create a sustainable framework for full depot electrification. Instead of having a multi-million dollar ‘big battery’ onsite, this revolutionary software solution creates a bridge between our bus depot charging infrastructure and the energy retail and distribution markets, to smartly draw down power when grid use is lower, whilst ensuring our buses are always charged for service delivery.”

Evernegi’s smart software connects the depot to the wider distribution network, communicating directly with the energy provider to optimise electric bus charging times in tune with grid use. This system therefore enables electric buses to be charged outside of peak demand periods.

Endeavour Energy’s Chief Customer and Strategy Officer Leanne Pickering, said:

“This leads to greater utilisation of the electricity network and avoids the need for costly upgrades, keepings downward pressure on the price of electricity for all customers both now and into the future.”

The system is initially being trialled at Busways’s Penrith bus depot with 12 Custom Denning electric buses and six ABB Terra charging stations. Envernegi has built the system to future-proof the power supply and ultimately charge an all-electric bus fleet.

This trial supports NSW’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and transitioning its 8,000+ bus fleet to electric vehicles.

Transport Minister David Elliott said:

“This smart charging technology will improve the management of our zero emission buses, reduce pressure on the power grid and is a tech solution that could shape up to be an exciting export from NSW to the world.”

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