A new electric bus will transport commuters from Bomaderry to Kiama and back, powered by solar panels.
It is the first bus of its kind in regional NSW, part of a state government trial.
Nowra Coaches, based in South Nowra, hopes to roll more electric buses onto the road in upcoming years.
Premier Motor Group managing director John King said he would like to pass on savings to commuters.
“If we can get the right product and whole of life cost, the government may be able to reduce the fares,” he said.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock and Kiama MP Gareth Ward joined Kiama Mayor Mark Honey on a joy ride of the new, electric bus on Friday.
“The fact it will be powered by electricity from solar panels on the roof it’s housed in, the cost of the energy supplying the bus is nil,” Mr Honey said.
“We have to look into the future, maybe this is what we do? We have solar panels feeding into the grid from our garages, plugged into our cars at night, so the cost of energy is negligible, it also has no effect on the environment. We need to do as much as we can to protect it.”
When fully charged, the bus will be able to travel about 400km.
Mrs Hancock hopes the trial is a success.
“It will provide a quieter ride for customers than its diesel counterpart,” Mrs Hancock said.
“Transport for NSW will closely monitor the results of this trial with a view to introducing more electric vehicles onto the network in the future.”
Mr Ward was pleased to see the trial go ahead.
“We are committed to minimising our impact on the environment,” Mr Ward said.
“Electric buses are already being used in other cities around the world and it is time we start seriously looking at this technology.”
The electric bus will travel a 37km bus route, introduced to supplement rail services. The route has grown in popularity since July 2017. Initially, five bus services operating between 5:35am and 8:30am were carrying 900 customers per month, now they carry around 3000 customers. The trial of the bus route will continue to June 30, 2019.