The design of the Brisbane Metro vehicle has been finalised with more than 35 major design enhancements that will significantly improve the accessibility and sustainability of what will be one of the most advanced electric vehicles in the world.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Council had been working with vehicle designer HESS and key stakeholders, including the accessibility sector and Energex, since last year to ensure the Metro vehicles are fit for purpose when they start cruising Brisbane’s busways.
“The final design is now complete. We have made more than 35 major design enhancements and hundreds of discrete design developments, around accessibility, safety, operation and maintenance,” Cr Schrinner said.
“The consultation that led to this final design was comprehensive and included virtual reality and the construction of a life-size timber mock-up of the pilot vehicle to ensure accessibility, usability and comfort could be thoroughly tested.
“We have improved on our original design to ensure all of our residents and visitors can benefit from being able to use this unique form of public transport.
“We have greatly increased and improved priority seating from two spaces to 10, added an additional mobility space, and expanded the amount of passenger information and route map displays, including audible travel announcements.
“As these vehicles are the first of their kind in Australia, we have also made a number of design developments to maximise their performance in our sub-tropical climate.
“We have upgraded the tinting on the windows to address the higher levels of UV in Brisbane, added high-performing air-conditioning and onboard Wi-Fi and USB points to create the best passenger experience.
“This fully electric vehicle will be the most accessible public transport our city has ever seen, with a second to none passenger experience and zero tailpipe emissions.
“The Brisbane Metro pilot vehicle will be the cleanest, greenest, most advanced technology to arrive in Australia and will rival public transport across the globe.”
“We have also advanced the design of the end of trip charging infrastructure, and the first permanent charging station is currently being installed at Countess Street.”
Civic Cabinet Chair for Transport Ryan Murphy said with the improvements to the vehicle and end of trip charging infrastructure, minor contract changes have been agreed with HESS, however these will be incorporated into the existing project budget.
“We are investing in these more advanced designs now as they will deliver an improved Brisbane Metro vehicle while reducing future risks around the electric-vehicle fleet and charging infrastructure,” he said.
“The vehicles and charging system are one of the most significant developments in the electric vehicle industry, worldwide, and this is the first vehicle of its kind in Australia, so we always anticipated the design process would be a journey with multiple developments.
“Council, HESS and its partners have worked together well to produce a design that balances sophistication and accessibility, which is based on tried and tested European technology, but be unique to Brisbane.
“The very first Brisbane Metro vehicle will be tested in Switzerland this year, before arriving in Brisbane for local testing in 2022.”