First locally made electric buses enter network in Victoria

electric buses

The first two Kinetic electric buses have rolled off the production line at Volgren, marking a key milestone in the Victorian state government’s push towards a cleaner and more sustainable bus fleet in Melbourne. 

The buses will go into service over the next few weeks and be deployed across 11 routes in the western suburbs, starting on route 223 and taking passengers from Yarraville to Highpoint Shopping Centre. 

The electric buses are being built at Volgren’s Dandenong South manufacturing facility, supporting local jobs and helping to build Victoria’s engineering, design and manufacturing expertise in these emerging technologies. 

“We are providing a boost to the local economy with ongoing employment opportunities while kickstarting our push to net zero emissions by 2050,” member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams said. 

Kinetic will introduce 36 electric buses to its network by mid-2025, including five by June this year, and will replace 341 diesel buses with zero emissions and hybrid buses over its nine-and-a-half-year franchise. 

Through the program of works, Volgren expects to create over 50 new jobs including traineeships. So far, 30 people have been employed through the program including 11 who have enrolled in apprentice programs. 

“We are on track to deliver 78 electric buses to Victoria’s bus network by 2025, with the first two buses rolling off the production line and set to hit the roads in the coming weeks,” minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said. 

“It’s not only good for the environment, it’s good for industry and the local economy with over 50 new jobs to be created at Volgren in Dandenong.” 

The buses feature a design chosen in a state-wide poll that attracted thousands of votes. The colourful flora design represents a bright future for the planet with public transport powered by clean energy. 

In addition to the 36 electric buses as part of the Melbourne bus franchise, the Victorian government’s three-year $20 million Zero Emissions Bus Trial will be underway soon with 41 zero emissions buses deployed across the state. 

By mid-2025, tens of thousands of people will be travelling on at least 78 quieter, smoother and fume-free electric buses each week across the state.