A ‘green’-letter day for public transport in Wellington
A ‘green’-letter day for public transport in Wellington and New Zealand
The launch of New Zealand’s first fully electric bus fleet in Wellington is the result of a decade of research and development by Tranzit Group.
“It’s a special day for us, Wellington and New Zealand,” says Tranzit Group managing director Paul Snelgrove.
“New Zealand now has the chance to see the future of public transport, and it’s a game-changer. In our 90-plus years in service as a bus operator, we saw that bringing this technology to New Zealand was not only our job, but our responsibility.
“The world is changing. We believe Wellington and New Zealand should be leading the way in public transport, and we’re delighted that the Greater Wellington Regional Council shares that vision.”
The capital’s new fully electric double-decker (EVDD) fleet comprises cutting-edge technology. Built and assembled by Kiwi Bus Builders in Tauranga, the electric double-deckers utilise the latest, safest lithium ion-based battery technology from global developer Microvast.
“We’ve been working toward this for the past 10 years and, with the support of the Wellington Regional Council, we’ve ramped that up in the past year to actively sourcing and lock down the very best options, bearing in mind the particular demands of the Wellington commuter network,” says Tranzit Group operations director Keven Snelgove.
“What we have is a fleet of EVDDs that’s top-of-the-line. From range to ride to reliability – we settled for nothing but the finest available.
“We looked at innovation in networks and services in global centres throughout Asia, Europe and North America to select the best technology for Wellington. Our decision was based on performance, reliability and consideration for the environment, without compromise.”
Each bus weighs about 12 tonnes – about the same as one of Tranzit’s new single-deck Euro 6 diesels built specifically for Wellington – and costs $1 million. Dimensions have been kept purposely compact to meet the requirements of Wellington routes, with each bus standing 4.75m high, 2.5m wide and 10.4m long.
“Power, reliability and range – the results of the new electric double-deckers exceeded even our very high expectations,” says Keven Snelgrove.
The initial fleet of 10 electric double-deckers will be phased in from July 15 in Wellington and bolstered by 10 more in 2020 and another 12 in 2021. They comprise a fleet of 234 brand new electric and diesel buses to service the bulk of Wellington and Hutt Valley commuter routes.
Infrastructure is in place to ensure the new electric buses work at optimum capacity. Each can carry up to 82 passengers and travel up to 150km on a single charge costing as little as $22.
Each bus is charged overnight at Tranzit’s Tranzurban depot in Rongotai, with fast-charging of 10 minutes’ duration taking place at strategically-placed stations en route.
“That maximises range and efficiency, meaning that our EVDDs are not only up to what is a pretty demanding but great for the environment and super-comfy as well,” says Keven Snelgrove.
“It’s pretty cool to know that Wellington’s going to have the safest, cleanest and greenest bus fleet to have ever operated on Kiwi roads.”
Earlier this week, Tranzit was named a finalist in the 2018 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards for its innovative work to transform New Zealand’s diesel bus fleet to fully electric vehicles.