Hydrogen innovation driving Illawarra bus trial

Set to debut on the popular fare-free Gong Shuttle Loop starting today, the hydrogen powered bus trial is a critical step in assessing the viability of zero-emission technology for regional bus operations.

Zero emissions bus nsw
Image supplied by Transport for NSW

Transport for New South Wales is embarking on an innovative journey towards sustainable public transit with the launch of a six-month hydrogen bus trial in the Illawarra region.

This move aligns with the state's commitment to transitioning from traditional diesel and gas-powered buses to more sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives.

Manufactured by ARCC in Western Sydney, the hydrogen bus boasts remarkable efficiency, covering 515km on just 32kg of hydrogen. In stark contrast, a similar diesel bus would need 170 litres of fuel for the same distance.

Refueling will take place at the Coregas hydrogen refueling station at the Port Kembla Hydrogen Hub, ensuring a seamless operational cycle.

The trial aims to gather crucial data that will inform decisions regarding the integration of electric and hydrogen technologies into the region's bus networks.

Minister for Transport Jo Haylen expressed enthusiasm for this pioneering initiative, as did Minister for the Illawarra and the South Coast, Ryan Park.

“The fare-free Gong Shuttle Loop is one of the most popular routes in NSW," Park said.

“This Hydrogen bus trial will give passengers a unique opportunity to experience a greener, quieter, and more comfortable journey on the loop between Wollongong station and the university."

The initiative aligns with a broader regional vision of fostering a clean energy economy, promising economic and social value for the Illawarra community while also potentially catalyzing job creation in the burgeoning clean energy sector.

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, has been a long term advocate for such trials.

“Transport is a way that we can help develop both the supply and demand for hydrogen in the region as it is looked at as a cleaner, greener industrial fuel source in the future,” Scully said.

Jenny Aitchison, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, underscored the importance of these trials extending beyond urban hubs. She said that the data collected from the Gong trial would provide valuable insights into the performance of hydrogen buses, laying the groundwork for potential future expansions into various regional centers across NSW.

Read more about ARCC zero emission buses on their website here.

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