The very first electric bus to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia has been unveiled and its looks like something from the future.
Developed with help from boffins at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, the ‘eBus’ is controlled by touchscreens and even includes USB charging docks in the seats.
The slick techno-bus sports a space-age look and has been designed so that lighter, more cost-effective battery technology can be swapped in as it becomes available in future, keeping costs to a minimum.
“This was a key aspect to achieving product life-cycle cost savings,” said the University’s Professor Ajay Kapoor.
“On average, the electric bus will be 80 per cent cheaper to maintain than the diesel buses currently being driven in Australia.”
The zero-emission bus could be an important step forward for eco-friendly public transport, and is capable of carrying up to 50 people 200km before it needs to be recharged.
Charging will take place at the bus depot, although there are tentative plans to introduce charging points around cities.
The bus was built in collaboration with Australian transit brand BusTech, research company AutoCRC and the Malaysian Automotive Institute.
Trials are set to take place on Australia’s Gold Coast in the near future, before the bus goes into mass production.
London Mayor Boris Johnson recently announced that the UK capital is to get the worlds first purpose-built electric double decker bus.
(Image credit: Swinburne University of Technology)