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Scania Hybrid drives Adelaide’s O-Bahn busway towards a greener future

Adelaide’s famed O-Bahn busway takes a step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future with the arrival of South Australia’s first Scania Hybrid bus.

The Scania Hybrid, which can run with zero tailpipe emissions, has been bodied by Precision Buses in Adelaide, and comes ready to operate on the O-Bahn as well as the city streets.

“Today we are taking a small but important step towards achieving a sustainable transport solution in Adelaide,” said Julian Gurney, Director of Sales for Scania Bus and Engines.

“The first Scania Hybrid to hit the streets will be able to travel on the O-Bahn. When pulling into the interchanges to pick up or set down passengers, and when departing the stops the bus has the ability to operate on battery power, which means no noise and no tailpipe emissions,” he said.

The Scania powertrain retains the familiar high output, lowest emission Euro 6 diesel engine mandated by the South Australian Government (and meets a higher standard than the ADR requirements), mated it to an electric machine, powered by batteries, charged through a regeneration process.

The introduction of additional electric propulsion leads to a significant reduction in tailpipe emissions.

A locally-assembled two-door Precision VST bus body has been built over the Scania chassis. This is the first of two Scania Hybrid buses ordered by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT), and both will carry ‘Hybrid’ badging on the overhead battery pod. A second order of five Scania Hybrids is also in the pre-production stage.

The adoption of the Scania Hybrid for the DIT-owned fleet has led to an increase in the number of employees at Precision Buses dedicated to bus body building.


“Each of these new Scania Hybrid buses will make a contribution to reducing environmental emissions from public transport, accelerating us towards the goal of a fossil free transport future,” Julian said. “This hybrid technology has been proven in operation in several European cities where diesel consumption and emissions have been cut by up to 25% per vehicle. We know that our hybrid technology makes a tangible contribution to reducing air and noise pollution.

“The Scania Hybrids are part of the 340 Scania Euro 6-compliant diesel buses that we will deliver over the next decade for the benefit of all Adelaide’s public transport users. The first Scania Hybrid will also be the 100th Scania bus built by Precision Buses for DIT (53 of which were delivered under the previous contract and 47 under the current contract).

“Scania has long been the most popular bus provider for the O-Bahn busway, which cumulatively provides more than 1000 trips per week over the 18 km run to Adelaide’s commuters,” Julian said.

“These hybrid buses are setting South Australia on the road towards a cleaner environment. Ultimately, we hope to reach a battery-powered, zero-emission bus future,” said Steven Godbold, Scania SA Government Bus – Contract Manager.

“Australian bus drivers who have been behind the wheel are very happy with the drivability and overall performance. Ride comfort for passengers is also improved when running on battery power, and by eliminating the noise of a bus pulling away from the stop and the smell of the exhaust pedestrians in the vicinity of bus stop will also notice the improvement,” Steven said.

“The Scania diesel electric hybrid bus marks a significant step-change in urban bus functionality and environmental benefits. The Scania Hybrid’s ‘silent mode’ zero tailpipe emissions experience will be a revelation for drivers and passengers alike,” Steven said.

The Scania Hybrid powertrain fitted to the new Adelaide buses has been designed to run for up to 4 km on battery power alone, up to a maximum speed of 40 km/h.

Employing Scania’s 9.0-litre 320 hp five-cylinder Euro 6 compliant diesel engine typically used across Australian bus fleets, and famed for its torquey 1600 Nm output, the Hybrid further boosts its environmental credentials with a 177 hp/1030 Nm electric motor, both of which are seamlessly integrated with the Scania Opticruise transmission.

The diesel engine can fully charge its batteries while in driving mode in just 30 minutes.