Auckland transport to deploy first ‘extra-large’ electric buses | The Driven
A Yutong e13 electric bus. Source: Auckland Council
A Yutong e13 electric bus. Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Transport has announced the next step on its road to accelerate its Low Emissions Bus Roadmap – the rolling out of two “extra-large” electric buses onto Auckland streets by August next year.

Auckland Transport – the organisation responsible for the city’s transport services (essentially everything except state highways) – announced earlier this week that it will launch two electric buses, one built by Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer Yutong in partnership with consultancy JW Group, and the second built by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis in partnership with Chinese transport manufacturer BYD.

These “extra-large” electric buses are the first of their kind in the world and have been specifically designed for New Zealand and will be able to carry up to 78 passengers.

Expected to be delivered in the middle of next year, the two new ‘extra-large’ electric buses will be joined by the first six electric buses for Waiheke Island which are being supplied by Alexander Dennis & BYD.

An Enviro200EV XLB electric bus. Auckland Council
An Enviro200EV XLB electric bus. Auckland Council

“As we continue our Low Emissions Roadmap, we need to better understand how the buses work and how we are going to power them,” said Darek Koper, Auckland Transport Bus Services Manager.

“Using low emission buses will be a big step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality across the city.”

Koper reinforced the value of this deal as part of Auckland Transport’s transition to using zero emission buses, part of its Low Emissions Roadmap Auckland Transport which will see the company purchase only low-emission buses from 2025 onwards and have a full low-emission fleet by 2040.

“Yutong and JW Group are pleased to continue working closely with Auckland Transport to introduce low emission urban buses in Auckland providing extra-large full EV Bus,” said Wei Zhou, Director of JW Group.

A large electric bus has been on loan from Yutong to test the vehicle and requirements for Auckland and its bus operators.

“On one trial, the bus ran from the Airport to Warkworth,” explained Wei Zhou.

“The round trip was 184km, with the bus using 41% of its battery capacity and an average power use of 84/kWh for every 100km travelled. The results built operational confidence in electric bus fleets.”

“We’re delighted to continue to work with Auckland Transport and to expand our partnership with BYD to deliver the new three-axle ADL/BYD Enviro200EV XLB,” added Tony Moore, General Manager of Alexander Dennis NZ.

“This model has been developed specifically for bus operations in New Zealand, offering additional capacity in zero emission vehicles … the combination of seamless acceleration and no gear changes results in a “smooth and quiet experience that all passengers will love”.


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