Bustech

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IndustryBus manufacturing
Founded1998
Headquarters
OwnerJoe & Tony Calabro
Websitebustech.net.au

Bustech is an Australian advanced bus original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Bustech manufactures fully built up integral buses and also bus bodies, built on chassis supplied by third party manufacturers.

Bustech was established by the then owner’s of Gold Coast, Queensland bus operator, Surfside Buslines. In 1998, the first bus was completed in their original Ernest, Queensland factory.

In Bustech’s early years production generally focused on producing low entry, route bus bodies for European chassis from manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Scania, predominantly under their VST model line. Smaller numbers of school buses and charter/touring vehicles were also produced.

In 2004, Bustech relocated to a purpose built factory in Burleigh Heads, Queensland which remains their headquarters today.

Bustech produced its first integral bus in 2007, the MDi, which is a midi-sized route bus using key components from ZF and Caterpillar. Bustech then expanded into full size route and school buses largely using Cummins engines. Bustech also produces an urban double deck bus known as the CDi and Australia’s first locally engineered and built electric bus, the ZDi.

Bustech products are also assembled under agreement with an engineering firm in Tasmania and with a joint venture partner, Precision Buses in Adelaide, South Australia, since 2017.

Bustech previously formed part of the Transit Australia Group, but was retained by the Calabro family following sale in April 2019. In September 2019, it was announced that Bustech will be merging with Precision Buses, under a new holding company called Australian Bus Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fusion Fusion Capital Holdings.[1]

History[edit]

2000 Bustech bodied Mercedes-Benz O405NH of Busabout
2006 Bustech VST bodied Mercedes-Benz O500LE of Busabout
2012 Bustech XDi with Cummins ISL engine operating on demonstration with Busabout
2013 Bustech CDi with Cummins ISL engine operated by Hillsbus

Bustech was founded by the proprietors of Surfside Buslines, Joe and Tony Calabro, on the Gold Coast.[2] It initially bodied buses on Mercedes-Benz and Volvo chassis.

Most of the early buses were built for the Calabro operations Surfside, Busabout and Hawkesbury Valley. Following the collapse of the Clifford Corporation, Bustech was successful in winning orders from a variety of operators, primarily in Queensland and New South Wales.[3] In October 2004 Bustech moved to a new factory in Calabro Way, West Burleigh.

In 2008 Bustech became part of the Transit Australia Group as part of a restructuring of the Calabro operations. In the same year the company launched its first integral bus (both chassis and body), the 10.5 metre MDi. This was followed by the 12.5 metre XDi and in July 2011 by the 12.5 metre CDi double decker, the first double deck citybus built for Australian operation since 1973.

In November 2009 Bustech completed its 1000th bus.[4]

In July 2015, in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, the Automotive Cooperative Research Centre (AutoCRC) and the Malaysian Automotive Institute, Bustech unveiled its first electric bus to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia. Bustech has already signed a AUD$170 million contract to manufacture electric buses for the Malaysian government in late 2014.[5][6][7]

Bustech was not included in the April 2019 purchase of the Transit Australia Group by the AATS Group.[8] In September 2019, it was announced that Bustech will be merging with its joint venture partner Precision Buses, which is owned by Fusion Capital Holdings.[1] Both organisations will have a combined strategic management and direction under a new holding company called Australian Bus Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fusion. However, each of them will retain their own brand identities and continue to operate in their own capacity at thei

Models[edit]

Currently, Bustech produces six bus models:

  • VST/VSTH/VSTC: 12.5m low-floor citybus body – built on a variety of chassis, including MAN 18.310/320 HOCL-NL, Mercedes-Benz O500LE, Scania K280UB, Volvo B12BLE and B7RLE[9]
  • VSTM: 11m low-floor citybus body – built on a Scania K280UB Chassis, The VSTM is a smaller VST body which is similar to but smaller than the MDi Body. State Transit Authority Sydney were the first to take deliveries of the VSTM.
  • SBV/SBM: School/Charter bus body – built on a variety of chassis, including MAN 18.280, Mercedes-Benz OH1830L, Scania K94IB and Volvo B7R. Previously known as the Graduate. SBM stands for School Bus MAN/Mercedes-Benz whilst SBV stands for School Bus Volvo[10]
  • MDi: 10.5m, 43-seater low-floor citybus integral – available with Cummins ISC 8.3-litre engine and ZF axles RL85A / A132[11]
  • XDi: 12.5m, 55-seater (51 when specified with centre-door) low-floor citybus integral - Available with Cummins ISC 8.3-litre or Cummins ISL 9-litre engines and ZF axles RL85A / A132[12]
  • XDi-E: 12.5m, 55-seater (51 when specified with centre-door) low-floor city bus integral. The XDi-E is a Bustech XDi but with an all-electric engine. There was only 1 built as of 2015.
  • CDi: 12.5m, 96-seater low-floor double-deck citybus integral - Available with Cummins ISL 9-litre engines. Surfside Buslines, Busways and Forest Coach Lines received the first deliveries for high capacity transport during peak periods.
  • ADi: 12.5m, 53-seater low-floor tour bus integral - Available with Cummins ISL 9-litre engine, Surfside Buslines received the first deliveries as the Gold Coast Shuttle.
  • SDi: 12.5m, 61-seater school bus integral – Available with Cummins ISL 9-litre engine, Surfside Buslines and Rover Coaches received the first deliveries for school transport deliveries.
  • ZDi: 12.5m, The Bustech ZDi is an all-electric Bustech-bodied bus which is the first of its kind, and only 1 ZDi built so far in 2015.

Both the MDi and XDi were also available with Caterpillar C7 engines. However, as they have ceased production of highway engines, the vehicles can now only be specified with Cummins engines.

The VST was also available with Volvo B12BLE engine however it ceased production. The Volvo B7RLE engine is used instead on VST's from 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Queensland's Bustech And South Australia's Precision Buses Merge". Australasian Bus & Coach. 19 September 2019. Archived from the original on 21 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Manufacturing Update" Australian Bus Panorama" April 2000 issue 15/5 page 17
  3. ^ Bustech Bus Australia Photo Gallery
  4. ^ Bustech churns out 1000th vehicle goldcoast.com.au 19 December 2009
  5. ^ Australia just built its first electric bus, and it looks awesome, Science Alert, Retrieved 11 July 2015
  6. ^ Burleigh company Bustech driving future with electric buses set to revolutionise Gold Coast roads, Gold Coast Bulletin, Retrieved 11 July 2015
  7. ^ Australia Unveils Its First Electric Bus And It Looks Amazing, Yahoo UK, Retrieved 11 July 2015
  8. ^ Skybus Operator to Acquire Transit Australia Group - Bustech not Included Australasian Bus & Coach 2 April 2019
  9. ^ VST Specifications Archived 2013-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Bustech. The new VSTH is a Hybrid Bustech VST with a Volvo B5RLEH Chassis. The VSTC, Is similar to the Bustech ADi Body except as a VST.
  10. ^ SBV Specifications Archived 2013-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Bustech
  11. ^ MDi Specifications Archived 2013-04-09 at the Wayback Machine Bustech
  12. ^ XDi Specifications Archived 2013-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Bustech

External links[edit]

Media related to Bustech at Wikimedia Commons