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Electric bus firm gears up for zero-emission growth Down Under

Posted on 12 Apr 2021 and read 497 times
Electric bus firm gears up for zero-emission growth Down UnderThe South Australian group behind the manufacture of the Brabham BT62 supercar is ‘positioning itself’ to become a major producer of electric buses for the emerging Australian market.

Co-located with sister company Brabham Automotive (in Adelaide, South Australia), Queensland-based BusTech Group is gearing up to produce at least 60 electric buses for the New South Wales government over the next 18 months after its recent inclusion on a list of approved electric bus suppliers. It also has orders for electric buses in Queensland, which it aims to start delivering in the second half of this year.

BusTech says it is the only Australian bus company locally manufacturing zero-emission buses for the NSW market. Its 12.5m-long ZDi all-electric bus has been designed, engineered and built in Australia. The buses aimed at the NSW market will use a battery pack and drivetrain supplied by US-based Proterra.

Owned by South Australia-based Fusion Capital, which also owns Brabham Automotive, the company rebranded as BusTech Group in December following the purchase of Bustech by Edinburgh-based Precision Buses in 2019.

Christian Reynolds, BusTech Group’s executive chairman, said: “We could see the opportunity to take more of a leading position within the bus industry so we worked through a transaction to acquire Bustech and achieve more of a national manufacturing and supplier footprint.

“Fusion Capital saw the opportunity from the closure of Holden to bring together Tier One supply capability to basically look at how we could create a business from the stalled capacity within the vehicle industry, and that is what has allowed us to move quite quickly. We went from four vehicles built in 2016 to building between 250 and 300 a year.”

BusTech has almost 300 staff with about 170 at a manufacturing plant on the Gold Coast, 110 in Adelaide and the remainder supporting national fleet operations and business development activities. It also has a manufacturing partner, Elphinstone, in Tasmania, which builds the BusTech designed and engineered XDi bus for the local market.