Sunday, March 3, 2024

First electric bus depot unveiled

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A bus charging at the new electric bus depot. Photo supplied

Auckland Transport (AT) has unveiled New Zealand’s first fully electric bus depot.

The agency says the NZ Bus depot has the latest technology to reduce burden on the grid and improve the environmental impact of Auckland’s bus fleet without putting the city’s energy supply at risk.

The depot is home to 35 electric buses, each of which is charged overnight via its own direct current charger.

They’re part of a total order of 152 e-buses agreed between AT and NZ Bus in November 2021.

AT interim chief executive Mark Lambert says the depot’s opening is a significant step forward in implementing the Low Emission Bus Roadmap to decarbonise Auckland’s public transport.

“It aligns with the Government’s 2035 mandate for the full decarbonisation of urban buses in New Zealand.

“These are the first tranche of electric buses, with more coming over the next two years.

“It’s been exciting to witness the transition to electric buses recently and we know our customers are enjoying the cleaner, quieter travel.

“This new technology manages when and how much each bus is charged, which is very important for load management on the Vector network, and of course using off-peak energy prices.”

Calum Haslop, chief executive of NZ Bus and the head of Kinetic in New Zealand, says the Panmure depot was launched thanks to the hard work of multiple parties.

“What we are now operating is a cutting-edge approach to the efficient supply of battery electric zero-emission buses for Auckland.

“Kinetic is proud to have built and be operating this depot, Australasia’s largest all-electric bus operation.”

Vector’s chief operating officer of electricity, gas and fibre, Peter Ryan, adds: “One of our key focuses is on ensuring an affordable transition to a zero-carbon future and the smart charging system is a crucial part of that.

“By managing the timing of the e-bus charging, we can ensure the buses are ready for service each day, while keeping the cost of electrification down.”

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