North Lakes will be home to Queensland’s first 100 percent electric bus depot as the State Government super-charges its plan to deliver more zero-emission vehicles.
The government has announced it will build 16 new electric buses on the Gold Coast under a $15.6 million deal with Keolis Downer.
In an Australian first, the all-electric bus depot, using 100 per cent renewable energy, will be based at Hornibrook Bus Lines at North Lakes.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says the deal signed will play an important part in Queensland’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.
“This deal will see the largest rollout of electric buses in Queensland to date,” Mr Bailey says.
“The Palaszczuk Government has made a commitment that by 2025 every new urban bus we add to the fleet in SEQ will be zero-emissions, by 2030 we’ll roll that out to the rest of the urban fleet.
“This agreement gives us a good head start because the first bus is due to arrive at Hornibrook’s North Lakes depot by the end of next year.”
Deputy Premier and Member for Murrumba Steven Miles says the agreement is a win for local commuters.
“Hornibrook Bus Lines runs bus services through our northern suburbs like North Lakes, Chermside, Mango Hill, Kallangur and Sandgate, so I can’t wait to see these quieter and cleaner vehicles on our roads,” Mr Miles says.
“The investment to make the North Lakes depot fully electric and build these buses on the Gold Coast is expected to support 150 jobs over the next two years.
“It’s also expected to bring more than $17 million of estimated value into the economy for local suppliers, contractors, which is the kind of investment we need right now.”
Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting congratulated Keolis Downer, which owns Hornibrook Bus Lines, on the zero-emissions initiative.
“Reducing emissions in our transport sector is a major challenge, and we can only be successful through partnerships between government and industry like this one,” Mr Whiting says.
“Once completed, Hornibrook’s North Lakes depot will no longer house diesel buses and will be home to the 16 new electric buses exclusively.
“That will save 13,846 tons of carbon emissions over the life of the buses.”
Member for Kurwongbah Shane King welcomes electric vehicles moving people around his electorate.
“Hornibrook Bus Lines delivers key services to Petrie Station and the surrounding areas, and I can’t wait to see them go electric,” Mr King says.
“When passengers jump on these buses for the first time next year, they’ll be helping to improve the environment, while getting a cleaner, smoother ride.”
Keolis Downer CEO David Franks says it is a significant moment for the business in Queensland.
“We are proud to be partnering with the Queensland Government to transition our North Lakes depot to 100 per cent battery electric buses,” Mr Franks says.
“This means the depot will be using 100 per cent renewable energy to power a fleet of electric buses, making it a first in Australia, and cementing Keolis Downer’s commitment to accelerate the energy transition with large-scale deployments in public transport.”
The first bus is due to arrive at North Lakes in September 2022, ahead of all 16 being ready for service by late 2023.