Climate change: 152 new electric buses for downtown Auckland routes

Auckland’s evolution towards a clean, green bus fleet has taken its biggest step forward with an agreement to bring 152 electric buses on routes serving the city center.

The deal is described as the largest in Australasia and was made between Auckland Transport (AT) and operator NZ Bus, which already has electric buses on the City Link line to the city center.

The buses will arrive over the next four years, the first in October 2022 on the Tamaki Link route between Glen Innes and the city center.

AT said the order would replace around 12% of the region’s current diesel commercial bus fleet and bolster the 33 electric buses already in service.

READ MORE:
* Waiheke Island gets Auckland’s first electric bus fleet
* Electric buses: no more diesel for Auckland’s suburban fleet
* Auckland gets its first fleet of electric buses in the city center

The 152 replacement electric buses were expected to reduce AT’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 11% per year, equivalent to nearly 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The replaced buses are among the oldest in Auckland’s fleet, meeting only the Euro 3 emission standard, rather than the Euro 6 standard encountered by newer diesels.

The buses are also Auckland’s largest single-decker buses and will be replaced by similar-sized, double-rear-axle electric buses, a model currently being tested in the city.

The council aims to have a zero-carbon public transport fleet by 2040, which will also involve the replacement of commuter ferries, which account for 18% of public transport emissions.

Auckland Transport's Stacey van der Putten, Mayor Phil Goff;  CEO of NZ Bus Barry Hinkley CEO of NZ Bus;  and Richard Hills advisers Pippa Coom at the April 2021 launch of the City Link electric bus fleet

Todd Niall / Stuff

Auckland Transport’s Stacey van der Putten, Mayor Phil Goff; CEO of NZ Bus Barry Hinkley CEO of NZ Bus; and Richard Hills advisers Pippa Coom at the April 2021 launch of the City Link electric bus fleet

“In the past 18 months, we have introduced 33 new electric services in the city, Waiheke Island, as well as the new AirportLink service connecting electric trains to Puhinui station for carbon-free travel to the airport. ‘Auckland,’ said Shane Ellison, managing director of AT.

Auckland council pledged the city to halve its carbon emissions from 2016 levels by 2030, which would require a 64% reduction in transport emissions in the region.

Auckland Transport said the 152 buses were funded by renegotiating an existing contract with NZ Bus, aided by contributions from the council and Waka Kotahi towards the transition to zero carbon services.

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