Electric bus and truck operator Electromotiv is expanding its team as the playing field for zero emissions buses in Australia and New Zealand gains momentum.
The ACT-based company, which is currently conducting an electric bus trial in the capital territory, has added two key players in the industry to its team as it closes a deal to provide electric buses to Auckland Airport and goes into the final phase of design of a privately owned zero emissions bus hub in Queensland.
A recent call out by the NSW government to trial electric buses in preparation for a transition to a 100% all-electric fleet has also generated a great deal of activity in the zero emissions public transport arena.
Joining the team is Adrian Salinas, previously electric vehicles senior program officer for the ACT, who is now stepping into the role of operations manager for Australia and New Zealand.
He is joined by Sam Andrist, who will provide economics analysis for Electromotive in New Zealand, and Electromotiv is reportedly also seeking to fill new board appointments as well as operational roles.
Managing director and co-founder of Electromotiv, Toby Roxburgh, says the expansion is due to the rapidly expanding requirement to provide electric buses to meet various projects in the region.
“These new additions to the team are important because we are expanding quickly. We are involved in an electric bus trial with Transport Canberra; we are close to a ten-bus deal with Transport Auckland and we’re at the final design stage of what will be Australia’s first net zero-emissions bus depot in Brisbane,” Roxburgh said in a statement.
“Adrian provides experience in the areas of operations and processes. He’ll provide grounding in good practises and service delivery while making certain that we stay ahead of the innovation curve,” says Roxburgh.
The current ACT trial is the second in a series to determine the suitability to electric buses to meet the capital territory’s zero emissions transport targets.
It follows a 2017 trial which proved that electric buses are a viable option despite issues that occurred due to a late change in management of the trial.
The new trial, which started in late 2019 and will continue for another five months, is winning the approval of bus drivers and TYransport Canberra alike, says Roxborough.
“The second trial which started in November 2019 is a continuing project but after six months, the bus is performing exceptionally well, drivers really like driving it and Transport Canberra are encouraged by the results thus far,” he said in a note by email.
The Auckland Transport deal will see Electromotiv in collaboration with New Zealand bus company JW Group provide a fleet of 10 Yutong buses to run between Auckland Airport and Manukau in Auckland’s south.
“These new electric buses will improve transport connections and reliability between Manukau, Puhinui and Auckland Airport, including for workers accessing its employment precinct as well as the airport itself,” said Auckland mayor Phil Goff in a statement.
“They will also help reduce carbon emissions from Auckland’s transport network, helping us to achieve our climate change goals.”
The 374kWh Yutong buses will offer up to 400km all-electric driving for the Auckland Airport bus link, and will recharge at a fast charging station located at the Manukau bus station in order to fulfil their 4am – 1am operating hours.
Roxburgh says that Andrist’s appointment is key to the success of the Auckland Airport bus link.
“Sam is an exciting addition to the team because of his expertise and ability. Sam will have a critical part to play in the Auckland project,” Roxburgh says.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.