Transport is the third highest emitting sector in Australia. Currently, Australia’s transportation system focuses on private passenger vehicles rather than more sustainable and energy efficient options like public transport. The transition to a zero-emissions transportation sector will involve substantial changes to travel behaviour and urban structures, including lessening car dependency and the electrification of various public transport modes. The electrification of Australia’s bus fleets by 2030 is a crucial component of this transition.
The full electrification of bus fleets is a widely popular policy option amongst Australians. The Climate of the Nation 2021 report shows that three in four Australians support the electrification of state bus fleets by 2030.
Already, some state and territory governments are accelerating the move to electric buses powered by renewable energy through targets and strategies. The NSW Government has committed to a 100% zero emissions fleet by 2030 and has a dedicated Zero Emissions Bus Transition Strategy.
Victoria has committed to 100% electric bus purchases from 2025. Queensland has committed to 100% of Translink-funded bus purchases being electric from 2025 in Southeast Queensland and 2025-2030 across regional Queensland. The ACT is targeting a 100% zero emissions bus fleet by 2040.
There is a role to play at every government level to successfully transition Australia’s bus fleets to zero emissions by 2030. Clear policy direction is necessary from all states and territories, as well as support from the federal government.
This report outlines measures that would accelerate Australia’s transition to electric buses.