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Electric fleet rolls out in Seymour

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

THREE new electric buses have officially launched at Seymour Coaches as the company works towards a cleaner and more sustainable regional bus fleet.

Delivered as part of a three-year State Government trial, the electric buses first began arriving in Seymour in February this year, and with the fleet now fully completed and ready to go, the town is now the first in regional Victoria to have its public bus network fully serviced by zero-emission buses.

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With the launch of all three of Seymour Coaches’ new electric buses, Seymour is the first regional town in Victoria to be serviced by a zero-emissions fleet. ​

The transition has been supported by manufacturer Volvo, fitters McConnell Seats and Victorian bus builders Volgren, with the three electric buses in use in Seymour all built in Melbourne.

Seymour Coaches general manager Stuart Locke said the deal came at a perfect time for the company, as its three existing route buses were due for replacement when bids for the trials opened.

“For us it’s the chance to have something that no one else has ever had before in transport, so we really are pioneers in a lot of respects,” he said.

“We hope that we can be good ambassadors for electric vehicles, for Seymour, for the State Government and for other operators to come look at our operation and hopefully see it as being cutting edge.”

Seymour Coaches has joined five other operators in Melbourne and Traralgon as part of the trial, which includes the roll out of 52 zero-emission buses – 50 electric and two hydrogen.

Mr Locke said Seymour Coaches would be looking at electrifying its fleet in Kilmore and Wallan into the future, however charging facilities were currently limited to only its main depot in Seymour.

Current buses that service Kilmore and Wallan are diesel-electric hybrids.

“It’d be nice in time to go fully electric in those two towns, we just need to upgrade our infrastructure and have the government approve it all,” he said.

“We want people to see Seymour as a progressive regional town, hopefully it promotes that and brings attention to the town … we are at the cutting edge when it comes to public transport.”

The trial is part of the State Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2045 and provides knowledge and information into how to effectively operate a fully sustainable public transport fleet.

An inside look at the new electric bus fleet.

Minster for Public and Active Transport Gabrielle Williams, who officially launched the buses on Wednesday, said the project was a step forward in sustainable infrastructure.

“We know that our transport sector is a really significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so if we can effectively turn one of our largest heavy vehicle fleets in our bus services to zero emissions, we could make a dent into that target,” she said.

“We usually see these sorts of developments driven out of Melbourne. Instead, we have our first regional town being fully serviced by zero emissions buses, and therefore that makes the Seymour community a really important foundation as we continue to roll out this technology across the state.”

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