Two electric buses will run on the City Link service in Auckland from next week, only weeks after the city's first full battery-powered bus hit the road servicing AUT's Northcote and Manukau campuses.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter launched the City Link buses today in a joint project between the Government's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and Auckland Transport (AT).
EECA is also involved with AUT and bus company Tranzit Group in the 35-seater bus transporting hundreds of students a day.
Goff said compared to diesel buses, the new e-buses will be cleaner, quieter and provide passengers with a better experience.
"Auckland is serious about leading the response to climate change in New Zealand and internationally. Transport contributes over a third of greenhouse gas emissions in Auckland and this trial supports our efforts to lower emissions in our city.
"Last year I pledged with mayors from around the world to work towards making our streets fossil-fuel free. As part of the declaration I committed Auckland to procure only zero-emission buses by 2025. Today marks a positive step towards achieving that goal," Goff said.
Genter said electric buses are great news for people working, visiting, and living in the city. They're better for the climate, they're quieter, and keep the air we breathe clean, she said..
"It's great to see trials like this, which will help local and central government learn and plan for large scale deployment of zero emissions buses."
Auckland Transport Chief Executive Shane Ellison said the two buses will help AT develop a Zero Emission Bus Roadmap for Auckland.
"These buses will help us accurately estimate whether electric buses meet the needs of our customers, what routes they can operate on and, of course, whether they're commercially viable.
"In January, we replaced some of our fleet vehicles with electric cars. These 20 cars are performing well and are just the beginning of the change to EVs for Auckland Transport," Ellison said.
The supplier of the buses is Alexander Dennis/BYD.
ADL New Zealand general manager Tony Moore said the buses for the trial are based on the Transport for London e-buses.
"We are working with progressive transport authorities, cities and enlightened political leaders around the world to introduce, emission-free transport solutions.
"The mayor has made it clear that Auckland intends to lead the way in the drive towards a greener, cleaner environment and the introduction of these buses is important in that journey."
Auckland Transport was awarded $500,000 from the EECA Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund towards one of the buses and charging infrastructure. Auckland Transport's contribution towards the cost of the buses is $1.21m.
EECA is also funding the installation of 60 EV charging stations at Auckland Transport parking facilities.
As well as providing sustainable transport for hundreds of students every day, the AUT bus is providing data to understand the economics and performance of electric buses on New Zealand roads.
The bus has 12 battery packs and a driving range of 180km.