Brighsun launches electric bus in Australia, goes on 600-mile drive [w/video]

Melbourne To Sydney In A Single Bound, Touts The Startup

Australia-based Brighsun is starting to promote its line of electric-bus prototypes, and says one of them can go from Sydney to Melbourne on a single charge, according to Australia's One Step Off The Grid. That's about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), or about the same distance from the Motor City to the Big Apple.

The company unveiled four different designs at a dog-and-pony show near Melbourne late last month, and detailed the goods in a two-minute video, which you can watch above. The buses are said to be powered by proprietary motor and, of course, feature range-extending regenerative braking. Brighsun touts itself as "the future of clean energy," and says its batteries have a 20-year life. Not content with building only people movers, the company also plans to make electric vans and trucks.

The outfit is also looking to get some funds from the Victoria state government in Australia (some strategies never change, despite a different continent and hemisphere). One of its pitches, in addition to the clean-energy angle, is that it could put a bunch of people back to work, as auto manufacturing by Toyota, Ford and GM's subsidiary, Holden, is expected to come to a final, grinding halt by 2017.

Most of the news about electric buses on these pages has centered around BYD and Proterra. The former company, from China, makes electric buses that have been sold to municipalities worldwide, some of which can go about 155 miles on a single charge. The latter recently claimed 258 miles for one of its American-made models. Up until now, these were pretty impressive, but if the Brighsun bus is truly a 1,000-km machine, well, that's a bit of a miracle.

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