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  • Renee Cluff

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    Silent ride as Cairns company introduces Queensland's first electric bus

    A zero emissions, fully electric bus will begin ferrying tourists between Cairns and Kuranda in July.

    Tropic Wings Cairns Tours & Charters, owned by the Woodward family’s CaPTA Group, has purchased a Chinese manufactured Yutong E12 coach.

    The silent vehicle will run between Cairns and the Rainforestation Nature Park in Kuranda.

    CaPTA Managing Director Peter Woodward said the company has always had a focus on eco-tourism and sustainability.

    “Australia is so far behind when it comes to eco-sustainability – companies can make a big difference and shouldn’t just wait for government to make changes,” he said.

    “As a large tourism business, we feel a personal and ethical responsibility to be more environmentally sustainable and this is another step in the right direction.

    “Whilst the initial upfront costs of the vehicles are substantial, our research has shown that the savings on fuel and maintenance will make this a viable business opportunity, and the positive impact on the environment alone makes it a worthwhile investment,” he said.

    A charging station will be installed at the Tropic Wings Coach Depot.

    The deal was brought about through the CaPTA Group's partnership with Cairns-based Yutong dealer, ABC Sales and Maintenance.

    ABC’s General Manager Barry Henderson told Tropic Now it’s the second bus of its kind in Australia, following hot-on-the-heels (or wheels!) of a deal he brokered with a private bus company on the New South Wales south coast.

    “It’s a very beautiful machine and a beautiful bus to drive,” he said.

    “People will notice the quietness of it.

    “It’s actually too silent, so we have sensors all over the bus and there’s a little ding ding ding alarm in case people step out in front of it.

    “There’ll be more out later this year, right across the country.”