152 battery-electric buses are to be launched on Auckland’s roads, in New Zealand, in what is claimed to be Australasia’s biggest electric bus order so far. CRRC has been chosen as preferred supplier with the buses imported as complete units, Australasian Bus & Coach observes (previous NZ e-bus deployment involved ADL – BYD in partnership with local bus builder Kiwi). The buses are to be deployed in the framework of a partnership between Auckland Transport (AT) and NZ Bus.
The BEVs will be deployed across four years, with plans for the first group to be driving the Tāmaki Link from October next year, followed by other services operated from the central and east Auckland bus depots.
152 electric buses for Auckland
These BEVs will replace around 12 per cent of the diesel bus fleet in Tāmaki Makaurau, in alignment with AT’s Low Emission Bus Roadmap 2020 (LEBR).
Such e-bus fleet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the AT Metro bus fleet by an estimated 11 per cent per year– which is almost 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually compared to 2019 figures, the government says.
AT and NZ Bus and have been working on plans to accelerate the BEV introduction since late 2020 following a proposal from NZ Bus to replace a significant part of its current diesel fleet with electric buses.
Auckland public transport towards a zero emissions 2040
Mayor Phil Goff says: “These 152 new e-buses will replace around 12 per cent of Auckland’s diesel bus fleet and reduce Auckland Transport’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 11 per cent annually – equivalent to almost 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year,” he says. And adds: “With transport making up more than 40 per cent of Auckland’s emissions profile, it’s crucial that we pull every available lever to reduce emissions. Having already halted the purchase of new diesel vehicles and rolled out 33 electric buses on more than 13 services throughout the region, this is another step towards a zero-emissions bus fleet for Tāmaki Makaurau. It’s encouraging to see Auckland Transport and NZ Bus working together to make that happen.”
AT’s Chief Executive, Shane Ellison, comments: “As an organisation, Auckland Transport is dedicated to doing our bit by actively supporting the goals of Auckland’s Climate Plan. We are well on our way in transitioning to an emissions-free public transport fleet by 2040, which will have a myriad of benefits for Tāmaki Makaurau – including improved air quality within the city centre and healthier communities. Within the last 18 months we’ve introduced 33 new electric services in the city, Waiheke Island, as well as the new AirportLink service connecting with electric trains at Puhinui Station for a carbon-free trip to Auckland Airport. The announcement of 152 additional electric buses is extremely positive for our city.”
NZ Bus Executive Director of Strategic Projects, Peter McKenzie says: “Auckland Transport and Auckland Council have been very supportive of the proposal and keen to work with us to increase the number of electric vehicles operating on AT’s bus services. The new decarbonisation team at Auckland Transport has been great to work with and really keen to improve Auckland’s emission profile as soon as possible. With support from AT and Waka Kotahi NZTA, we will significantly accelerate the electric vehicle rollout over the next four years and create a platform for further decarbonisation strategies to follow from there.”