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Electric bus charges into Palmerston North

Horizons Regional Council is testing Tranzit Group’s prototype electric bus for four days this week, showing the community what the future of our public transport could look like.

Dubbed EV1, the fully electric bus has been exceeding performance expectations, operating on various routes around Wellington.

Passenger Transport Committee Chair Cr Rachel Keedwell says Tranzit Group, who operate the urban and Massey bus services for Horizons, have offered to showcase the technology in Palmerston North.

“The orange bus will be showcased Wednesday morning in the Square from 8am-10am providing an opportunity for people to ask questions and jump on board, before slotting into the Massey routes on Thursday and Friday,” she says.

“Those keen to head out to the Central District Field Days will also have the opportunity to check out EV1 with free trips on a ‘first in, first served’ basis at 9am, 1pm and leaving to return back to the Square at 4pm.”

Cr Keedwell says this is a great opportunity to raise awareness and interest in the emerging electric bus technology.

“We’re thrilled to be able to have EV1 operating on our city services. During recent submissions on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan, numerous community members requested we start planning for the EV future.

“As this type of technology becomes more readily available and affordable, we’ll be looking to test community appetite for moving towards an electric fleet of buses,” says Cr Keedwell.

Tranzit Group transport and operations director Keven Snelgrove says the power, reliability and range results of EV1 have been excellent.

“It has proven to be more than capable of meeting the stop-start requirements of a passenger vehicle.”

EV1 was built by Tauranga-based Kiwi Bus Builders and incorporates leading edge battery technology. It is able to be fully charged in around three hours, and with a range of 200km EV1 is a similar weight to that of a diesel bus.


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