In the first Bus & Coach Expo since 2019, the industry celebrated a rapid turn towards battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell models in style.
It had been three long years since the bus and coach industry last congregated for an Expo. At the BusNSW 2022 Australasian Bus & Coach Expo at Sydney Showgrounds, its members quickly made up for lost time.
Despite certain last-minute rushes to pack stands, the inside of the Showgrounds sparkled with buses as the local industry showcased the best of its latest products. Just a few steps through the door and it was clear the direction the Australian sector had veered towards in recent times.
Battery electric buses and other zero-emissions products dominated the Expo stalls as many manufacturers celebrated its recent forays into new energy technology. From Volvo and Bus & Coach International’s (BCI) latest electric chassis and bus offerings upon walking in the front door to the alternative fuel models of Foton Mobility and Bus Stop Sales at the back of the Showgrounds, the Expo was dominated by mind-blowing developments in zero-emissions bus and coach technology.
It may have been gloomy skies throughout the week in Sydney, but it did little to impact the good spirits of the industry. From the Volvo Welcome function to kick start proceedings through to the final hours of the Expo’s second day, the Showgrounds filled with bus lovers keen to celebrate the industry’s triumphant return from COVID issues.
On the opening morning of the two-day event, positivity and praise set the tone for a busy week. BusNSW officially welcomed the Expo-goers, with New South Wales regional transport and roads minister Sam Farrway and BusNSW executive director Matthew Threlkeld giving their insights on the successful launch of the Expo.
Following that, the industry finally got to award the hard-working members of the Australian sector that had toiled throughout the difficult times of the past few years. BusNSW used the opening morning to recognise its best bus drivers in 2022 with awards.
The BusNSW Bus Driver of the Year awards were established in 2006 to recognise individuals for their outstanding contribution to the local industry. Joining Threlkeld and Farraway to award the winners was BusNSW Industry Development Manager Philip Wipp, Transport for NSW secretary Rob Sharp and BusNSW President John King.
Busways’ Belinda Guillard and Leo Pham from Premier Illawarra took home the Metropolitan/ Outer Metropolitan Bus Drivers of the Year awards, while the Rural and Regional Bus Drivers of the Year were Les Curtis from Cowans Bus Service and Ogden’s Coaches’ Alan Selman. Finally, Linaire Barrett from CDC NSW and On Course Tours’ Hans Keetels were the Coach and Charter Drivers of the Year.
Throughout the two-day event, more great moments would follow. Yutong used the opportunity to officially unveil its new C12e electric bus model with international members in attendance, while Bustech Group welcomed federal politicians onboard its bus in a popular moment.
International members of companies like MAN Truck & Bus/ Penske Australia also touched down for the Expo, with the Showgrounds brimming with attendees happy to be back at the major event. 2022 has been a boom year for the returning industry, and the first Expo since 2019 gave members the perfect moment to celebrate a stunning return.