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More electric buses are set to roll out in Far North Queensland. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has recently announced that it will be injecting $4.75 million in funding to a Cairns-based tour and charters operator for its Sustainable Transport in Tourism Project.

Sourced from ARENA’s Driving the Nation Fund, the funding is expected to facilitate the transition of nearly one-third of the operator’s fleet to electric propulsion through the acquisition of 12 electric buses.

In addition, ARENA’s funding will support the installation of 11 electric vehicle chargers and two battery energy storage systems (BESS). These systems will not only optimise electrical infrastructure but also provide short-term renewable electricity storage, ensuring resilience during adverse weather conditions and emergencies.

“With roughly 100,000 buses in Australia, the scale of the challenge is enormous. For smaller family-owned businesses, the barriers are even greater,” says ARENA CEO Darren Miller.

“This is what the Driving the Nation fund is for, supporting companies that are finding solutions and paving the way for zero-emissions vehicles on our roads,” he adds.

The announcement of this initiative comes as part of the broader scope of the Driving the Nation Fund, a $500 million investment aimed at promoting cheaper and cleaner transport options across Australia.

Currently, ARENA has allocated $70 million specifically dedicated to innovation in charging, underlining its commitment to advancing public charging infrastructure and management systems.

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