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Australian all-electric bus drives into record books – 1,018km on one charge

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The Australian all-electric bus launched by Brighsun in Melbourne at the end of last month has set a new world record for the greatest distance covered by an electric bus on one charge, at 1,018km.

As we reported here in October, the prototype e-bus was launched at Yuroke, one hour north of Melbourne’s CBD, by Australia-based company Brighsun, as one of four full electric buses ranging from high range capacity route service passenger buses to touring coaches.

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The buses combine a high performance lithium ion battery with proprietary eMotor, battery management and a regenerative braking system.

As part of the Melbourne launch, one bus – which is certified to international standards to drive 1004km on one charge (more than twice any current competitors) —  successfully completed a road-trip to Sydney.

Last weekend, this same bus backed up its inter-state performance with a world-record breaking effort, travelling 1,018km on Victoria’s South Gippsland Highway, between Tooradin and Lang Lang.

DSC_5247According to Brighsun, the bus started its journey at 10pm Saturday November 14 and achieved the record distance just before midnight on the following Sunday, in the presence of a Guinness World Record adjudicator.

What it means, said Brighsun communications director, Gladys Liu, is that commercial electric buses can now travel the whole day or interstate without having to find somewhere to recharge.

“We believe it will bring a whole new concept of public transport with no pollution to Australia and to the world.”

Liu said the company would continue to work on its electric vehicle propulsion technology, and on its vehicle range, which extended to commercial passenger and goods vehicles, operating intra-city and inter-regional country Victorian services.

Greens Senator, Janet Rice, welcomed Brighsun’s world record achievement as a “game changer” for low-carbon transport.P1120190

“This shows how electric buses can slash our carbon pollution and air pollution in our cities,” she said in a statement.

“The Greens look forward to seeing innovative companies like Brighsun manufacturing electric buses in Australia, creating jobs and being part of our clean energy future.”

As we reported here, the company also has plans to open manufacturing plants for the e-buses across Australia.

There is still no information available, as yet, on the charging technology the buses will use, or the source of electricity, although comments from the company suggest renewable energy could be a part of the plan.

“New energy is key to Australia’s auto industry revitalisation,” said Brighsun CEO Allen Saylav, “and we believe the eBus is the first step in the right direction for this to happen.

“We chose the heavy commercial passenger vehicle to showcase how high performance could be achieved in larger transportation options,” as well as in passenger cars.

This story was first published on our sister site One Step Off the Grid. To sign up for the weekly newsletter, click here.  

  • Rob

    In the city of Newcastle, NSW, Mike Baird is apparently going to hand all of our public transport over to the private sector. Ferries, buses, the lot. I hope part of the tender for buses is that they must be 100% electric! Ahem….Brighsun perhaps?

    • Jacob

      NSW and Vic can already give out an unlimited number of licences to electric taxis, but those 2 states are too corrupt to do so.

      • Geoff

        absolutely. Baird is a stain on this state and is an narrow minded idiot. selling public assets for short term gain is a tragic approach to running NSW’s economy.

  • Angus

    This is certainly a big a achievement and a sign of great things to come. But how far could it travel with 40 – 60 adults on board? A tour bus isn’t profitable without passengers?

    Did they add the extra weight of the passengers in the test run?

    • Jacob

      What they should have done is an urban run at no more than 60km/h.

      100km/h requires a lot more energy.

    • Catprog

      60*100 = 6,000kg. A bus is about 9,000kg

      That leads me to believe it would do about 500km with passengers.

      • Angus

        It’s not anywhere near as simple as that. Using your math. An empty bus is 9t and a full bus is 15t. Thats a 60% weight increase. Your suggesting that equates to a 50% weight reduction in fuel. In stop/start city driving this could have a significant reduction.

        But I’m not so sure with respect to long distance freeway driving. Air resistance is unaffected by weight and the friction with the road wouldn’t increase that significantly.

        But I’m just guessing really

        • Gary

          Actually with regenerative braking most of the energy use would be in overcoming wind resistance and other drag factors.
          Extra weight would probably not make much difference.

  • Ray Miller

    Well done great achievement again Australia does have visionaries and doers we just need that extra bit of innovation to kick the goals to full implementation.

  • Rolan Volante

    That is a swell achievement, now they can think of churning out an electric passenger car with 600 km range, and beat out the competition.

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  • Great! Now make a motor home version of it that is Tesla Supercharger capable for me and I’ll get really excited.