Brisbane City Council to introduce 60 electric Metro vehicles

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Brisbane City Council has announced that it will introduce a new fleet of 60 high-capacity electric vehicles into the Australian city’s existing Metro network.

The Metro vehicles will be integrated into busway operations and share the busway with existing bus services, as part of a revised network.

Following a tender process, Brisbane City Council is recommending commercial vehicle manufacturer Hess, in partnership with Brisbane-based supplier Volgren, and electric infrastructure expert ABB, to design and build the Brisbane Metro vehicle fleet.

HESS and its project partners will deliver a zero-emission, battery-electric fleet of vehicles with flash charging infrastructure.

The council has released a video showing the design and key features of the electric Metro vehicle. The video can be viewed below:

According to Brisbane City Council, the Metro vehicles will be an Australian-first, using proven European technology that will help future-proof the city’s public transport network.

Each vehicle will be 24.4m (80ft) in length and 2.55m (8.3ft) wide, with the capacity to carry 150 passengers in comfort and 180 passengers in event mode.

Other key features include: close-to-silent operation; flash charging in under six minutes at the end of route; a spacious bi-articulated design, providing three large open passenger areas; four large double doors along the length of the vehicle for quicker boarding; low-floor design from front to rear, providing a high level of accessibility; in-built USB charging points and on-board WiFi; passenger information displays and next stop audio and visual route information; separated driver’s cabin, providing improved driver security; panoramic rear window, for taking advantage of city views; and interior illuminated ceiling.

Initially Hess and its partners will design and build a pilot Metro vehicle, which will be tested in Brisbane in 2020.

Following the successful trial of the pilot vehicle, Brisbane City Council will have the option to purchase 59 additional Metro vehicles, with services expected to commence in late 2023, subject to approvals.