Electric school buses for Western Australia: Feasibility study
This research will assess the feasibility of battery-electric buses for regional school bus services in Western Australia; identify and, where needed, propose solutions for electricity network capacity constraints; and identify the technical support services required for zero emissions buses and related infrastructure.
The State Government’s Climate Policy (2020) sets out the strategic objectives for Western Australia to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and recognises the importance of significant action in the decade to 2030 to reduce emissions.
The transport sector generates nearly 15 million tonnes per annum of GHG emissions, and this has increased by 45% since 2005. Work is underway to finalise a series of sectoral emissions reduction strategies, including for transport, to inform interim 2035 targets and the pathway to net zero.
Additionally, State Government agencies need to develop strategies to reduce GHG emissions by 80% on 2020 levels by 2030. In line with this commitment, the Public Transport Authority has responsibility for developing strategies to transition all government funded bus services to zero emissions in the next two to three decades.
The bus services funded by the State Government through the Public Transport Authority (Transperth, regional cities and towns, school bus services) require extensive fleets of buses and these typically involve a 15—20 year fleet replacement cycle.
This project will be a key input to developing a strategy to transition the regional school bus services to zero emissions vehicles.
Nexport is an electric vehicle manufacturer that is continuously innovating in developing new vehicle products that are versatile in the market. Nexport has embarked on this exciting project to develop a transformable vehicle that can serve logistics and personal mobility needs.
This will help drive Australian mobility innovation, manufacturing and overall reduce vehicle footprints towards a sustainable future. The research team of UNSW is exploring the perspective of design-driven innovation as the new innovative approach for the competitiveness of Australian companies within the international market.
Thanks to this project, Nexport and UNSW have the possibility to apply in a real-life situation a design-driven innovation process for the development of an innovative 3P electric vehicle. The project aims targets a market opportunity with an innovative human-centric co-design methodology. It brings the company and the university together to better answer to the varying needs of users and customers with a sustainable and flexible electric vehicle.
The project includes a rapid concept study, and the design and development of a vehicle prototype that can serve multiple mobility needs.
- Market analysis of needs with a specific research study on users and standards/regulations, with the aim to identify a set of requirements for the design engineering of components (folding seat-shelves, cargo mesh, adaptive LED lighting, and a utility space for the driver).
- An integrated design engineering activity involving structural changes to a bus, combined with the genuine concept design study of the seating, storage space, adaptable lighting, cargo mesh, and driver area utility space. The aim is to implement requirements from the user study to explore several options of solutions, selecting the best in terms of technical and economic feasibility.
- A user test study with the aim to collect feedback from potential users during the design engineering process, specifically to validate solutions and decisions.
- Prototype the concept by building innovative components into an EV 12-seat bus selected by Nexport in its network of suppliers. The prototyping aims to validate solutions in a real-life environment, support decision making against physical limitations and opportunities of the selected vehicle platform and evaluating the practical result with potential users.
Please note …
This page will be a living record of this project. As it matures, hits milestones, etc., we’ll continue to add information, links, images, interviews and more. Watch this space!