Scandium for use in buses of the future

IFM is leading a new project to lighten electric bus bodies, supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.

Australian bus manufacturer and IFM industry partner Volgren is a partner in the new project, led by Dr Thomas Dorin, to investigate how scandium could help lighten electric bus bodies. The other partner is Clean Teq, which mines scandium in Australia.

The Bus Optimisation Project is said to provide, “an opportunity to incorporate the latest thinking in metallurgical engineering with future bus design and advanced manufacturing techniques.”

Peter Dale, CEO of Volgren, said as the global market for electric buses expands significantly, a lighter bus body will be a game changer, improving both range and capacity.

Mr Dale said the Bus Optimisation Project was initiated after Volgren approached Deakin with the challenge of removing up to a tonne of weight from their popular low-floor city bus, Optimus. This, they knew, would be a difficult task considering Volgren already boasts the lightest aluminium bus body of its type in Australia – and arguably the world.

“Deakin’s extensive capabilities in design, forming and metal alloy development have placed them at the forefront of metallurgical engineering.”.

“Their researchers have already had success incorporating scandium into the aeronautic sector and we believe that expertise can form the foundation of the next generation of Volgren aluminium bus designs,” said Peter Dale.

The partnership between Volgren and Deakin also includes a PhD scholarship, to ensure that the research remains grounded in industry application. Read more