Gold Coast school jumps onboard electric school bus trial to inspire curious young minds – Michmutters

Gold Coast school jumps onboard electric school bus trial to inspire curious young minds

While the economics of electric buses may make them an increasingly irresistible public transport option, year 4 student Annabelle Nicolson has a different reason for liking her new electrified ride to school.

“If the gas from the bus goes into the air, then we, and the plants and the animals, can get sick,” she said.

Annabelle will be among the first students at Hillcrest Christian College to ride on its new electric bus as part of an upcoming trial.

The trial is the only one of its type on the Gold Coast, with the school hoping to transition its fleet over five years.

But according to Griffith University’s Transport Research Group, as fuel prices rise and maintenance costs drop, more schools should follow suit.

“We’re at the inflection point now, where if you were setting up a new operation with the depot and fleet, you would probably want to invest in electric,” Griffith University’s Matthew Burke said.

“The costs are just starting to become obvious that that’s what you do, particularly with fuel prices having leapt up in recent months,” Professor Burke said.

“The maintenance burden, in particular, of an electric vehicle is significantly lower than that of an internal combustion engine.”

three children sitting on a bus smiling
Hillcrest students Milena Garcia Mariano, Emilia Savage and Annabella Nicholson on an electric bus.(ABC Gold Coast: Camille Chorley)

‘Unsustainable’ transport problem

Professor Burke said Griffith studies have shown unsustainable trends in Gold Coast transport, with about three-quarters of students being driven to school in cars.

“People have shifted into SUVs, which with light trucks, are about three-quarters of all sales here now,” he said.

“It’s pretty polluting.”


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