Some good news late on Friday with Auckland Transport announcing they would trial two fully electric buses in Auckland.
Auckland Transport is to carry out a full trial of electric buses.
The government has announced funding for the E-Bus trial and related infrastructure as part of the EECA Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.
AT has been awarded up to $500,000 to part fund an electric bus trial and close to $300,00 for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Auckland Transport will top up the funding so two buses can be used in the trial.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “Great news for Auckland as we do our part to reduce emissions and combat climate change. Whether it is trains, buses or cars, electrification of our transport network is key to making Auckland a cleaner more sustainable city, and providing a better customer experience for our public transport users.”
Auckland Transport Chief AT Metro Officer Mark Lambert says AT wants to test current E-Bus technology in Auckland. “We will trial two E-Buses to gather real operating data and to raise public awareness of the technology. We expect them to be used over different routes and conditions to fully test them.”
Mr Lambert says AT is constantly reviewing planning to ensure emerging technology like E-Buses is considered when new infrastructure and services are planned and delivered. “One of our challenges is to accurately estimate when this technology will meet the needs of our customers and service and route characteristics and also commercial viability.”
Mr Lambert says the grant from EECA will mean that a full trial can begin later this year. “Auckland Transport is working to develop a Clean Bus Roadmap for Auckland.”
Modern electric buses can have a range of more than 200 km with one charge and can be enabled for fast or overnight charging.
Funding has also been provided for installing 60 EV charging stations at AT parking facilities around Auckland.
AT say they still have to work out the exact details but it is likely they will own the buses themselves and used on various routes by different operators.
It may only be two buses but this is a positive step and are hopeful we’ll soon see many more electric buses rolled out in Auckland. They along with other improvements to buses we’ve been seeing, such as the double deckers, will help in changing the image of buses in Auckland and eventually other parts of New Zealand. We’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on what happens with this trial.
BYD is a large builder of electric buses, here’s an example of one of their buses in London.