The Future of Buses and Light Commercial Vehicles Is Electric

Christopher Pohlkamp Anita Oh Paul Nguyen Julien Bert

With more than 1.5 million trucks and buses on the road in Australia alone, commercial road transport is a key driver of greenhouse gas emissions and an important lever to reach net zero as laid out by the Federal Government in its recent National Electric Vehicle Strategy. Although adoption of Electric Vehicle (EV) transport is still nascent outside of passenger vehicles, we expect to see significant growth over the next decade. This will happen in several waves, starting with fleet- and depot-based buses and light commercial vehicles, followed by intra-city and medium distance commercial and passenger freight vehicles.

For transit buses, cost parity has already arrived. To accelerate bus and light commercial EV uptake, regulatory support is needed at national, state and city level and an uninterrupted battery supply chain - from raw inputs to material processing and battery cell manufacture. The recent announcement that NSW will phase the electrification of its bus fleet until 2047 (rather than until 2030 as initially planned), shows that this is a challenging transformation.

In the following article, we share some insight into how this transformation will take place, potential accelerating and braking effects, and how businesses and organisations can prepare for an electric future.