The start-up climbs high in electric buses

Fortunately, Australia has its fair share of visionary politicians in the states and territories, such as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance and South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall.

The Barr government’s decision in 2018 to have all newly leased passenger vehicles zero emissions by June of this year was a world-class initiative that had powerful ripple effects.

Constance’s bold decision in December 2020 to transition the state’s 8,000 buses to zero-emission technology by 2030 proved to be a boost for local bus makers and put a stake in the ground. for other states.

Sydney success story

Australia has several well-respected bus manufacturers including BusTech, Custom Denning, Precision and Nexport.

The Marshall government is shifting its fleet of 6,800 passenger vehicles to plug-in electric models by 2030. This will increase the number of affordable used electric vehicles that South Australians will be able to purchase when electric vehicle leases expire.

What the federal government failed to understand is that a holistic electric vehicle policy would boost opportunities for local businesses participating in all parts of the electric vehicle supply chain.

For example, the total addressable market for government managed and leased buses in Australia is approximately $ 16.6 billion.

Sydney-based software company Evenergi is a notable example of a VE success story, which found its contract to help manage the EV fleet in ACT to be a stepping stone to international markets.

Its co-founder, Daniel Hilson, explains that Chanticleer Evenergi’s operations are now growing rapidly in Britain, where its co-founder, Nick Butlin is located. The UK government is spending £ 170million ($ 317million) on the electrification of buses.

Hilson plans to move his family to the United States, as they are home to about 21 million of the world’s complex vehicle fleets, and President Joe Biden has plans to spend $ 5 billion ($ 6.85 billion) on the electrification of government bus fleets.

Evenergi offers its customers a complete platform for the electrification of heavy vehicle fleets. It allows you to model the appearance of fleet operations once fully electrified, the location of charging stations and how to optimize fleet management.

The start-up is backed by several top investors, including legendary banker Mark Burrows, founding partner of Barrenjoey Capital, Anthony Brasher and advertising director Luke Dean.

He has received grants from ARENA and the governments of NSW, ACT and South Australia.

Evenergi’s basic algorithm for fleet management is improved thanks to a project with the ACT government which involves installing monitors on all new heavy-duty electric vehicles.

“We do what are called multi-physics algorithms, which basically consist of taking a vehicle and all the physics around it – the traction of the tires, the wind and the load of a vehicle and its regenerative braking – to find ways to have more stability in the battery.

“We take this real-life data and then match it digitally with machine learning algorithms. This is the state of the art R&D.”

Hilson says his contract with the Welsh government to help him deploy ultra-low-emission bus technologies was a breakthrough that paved the way for a contract with First Bus, the UK’s second-largest operator with 5,000 buses.

He says global institutions – such as Macquarie Group and EQT Infrastructure – are entering the business. EQT bought a whole fleet of buses in order to be able to electrify it in the United States.

Diesel buses cost around $ 480,000, while an electric bus costs between $ 550,000 and $ 900,000. However, the electric bus will pay for itself relatively quickly due to lower maintenance and fuel costs.

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