Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Infratil and NZ Bus lead the way for electric vehicles

21 April 2016

Infratil and NZ Bus lead the way in transitioning NZ’s public transport to electric powered vehicles

Infratil today announced a US$30m deal with Wrightspeed Inc. to supply its first-in-kind, award-winning electric powertrain technology – the Route™ 500, which it intends to deploy on its public transport business through NZ Bus.

California-based Wrightspeed, founded by New Zealand-born Ian Wright who was a co-founder of Tesla, manufactures range-extended electric vehicle powertrains, which are already in use successfully in the U.S.A. in waste management and delivery vehicles. This deal with Infratil and NZ Bus marks Wrightspeed’s entry into passenger transport.

Kevin Baker, Infratil executive and NZ Bus Chairman, said Infratil and NZ Bus were delighted to team up with Wrightspeed to bring innovation through electric powertrain technology to New Zealand. An electric public transport fleet would combine well with Infratil’s investments in renewable energy and enable New Zealand to transition to a clean energy public transport system and play a significant role in decarbonisation and reducing noise pollution in New Zealand cities.

Zane Fulljames, CEO of NZ Bus, said with nearly 82% of New Zealand’s electricity from renewable energy sources, transition to electric-powered public transport alongside private vehicles will deliver a step change in reducing the country’s carbon footprint. As owners and operators of fleet, bus companies have a key role to play.

“We have explored all the options on the market for future-proofing our fleet. Wrightspeed’s powertrains outperformed the competition on nearly every metric and will provide us with the fuel source flexibility and economically compelling technology to achieve that. In the near term, the technology will enable us to repower our trolley buses, to enable them to be used anywhere in New Zealand. Upon successful repowering of the trolleys, the next stage of the journey to commence would be the retrofitting of the Wrightspeed powertrains to other selected vehicle types in the fleet,” said Mr Fulljames.

Wrightspeed’s Route 500 range-extended powertrain is capable of powering vehicles weighing up to 36,000 pounds, in grades as steep as 40%, and maintains an efficient drive, with an estimated 11.1 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. The 80kW, fuel agnostic Fulcrum™ Turbine Generator charges on-board batteries, which provide power to turn the wheels and give the buses unlimited range with refueling. The company’s patented Geared Traction Drive (GTD) ™ digitally drives each wheel of the vehicle, providing the slip control needed to manage New Zealand streets.

"New Zealand’s commercial fleets have been challenged by some of the most rigorous road conditions,” said Ian Wright, CEO and Founder of Wrightspeed. “Our technology offers an ideal and economically attractive match for these conditions and is a proven solution to support New Zealand’s transition to clean transportation."

NZ Bus will receive its first Wrightspeed powertrains by mid-2016, and begin the process of fitting and testing immediately, with a view to having a first electric-powered bus on the road by the last quarter of this year.

“As a major transport operator, we have the scale for investment of the kind this deal with Wrightspeed represents. We are committed to continuing to lead the industry and contribute to reducing New Zealand’s carbon footprint through innovation,” said Mr Fulljames.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: Ongoing Monetary Tightening
The Monetary Policy Committee today increased the Official Cash Rate (OCR) to 3 percent from 2.5 percent. The Committee agreed it remains appropriate to continue to tighten monetary conditions... More>>



Statistics: Weekly Earnings Rise As More In Full-time Employment

Median weekly earnings from wages and salaries rose by 8.8 percent to $1,189 in the year to the June 2022 quarter, Stats NZ said today... More>>



Bell Gully: Uncertainty Ahead With New Unconscionable Conduct Legislation

new prohibition against ‘unconscionable conduct’ in trade is one of a number of changes to the Fair Trading Act 1986 that come into force from 16 August 2022. The new prohibition may have wide-ranging implications for many businesses... More>>


Electricity Authority: Imposes Interim Restrictions On Very Large Electricity Contracts

Consumers of electricity will be protected from potentially paying more than they should due to the impact of very large electricity contracts on wholesale prices, under urgent changes announced today by the Electricity Authority... More>>


Westpac: Economic Overview, August 2022 – Pushing Through

The New Zealand economy faces some lean growth in the year ahead as households’ budgets are squeezed, according to Westpac’s latest Economic Overview... More>>


Kiwi Group Holdings: Fisher Funds Acquires Kiwi Wealth Business

Kiwi Group Holdings Limited (KGHL) today announced the sale of Kiwi Wealth to Fisher Funds for NZ$310 million... More>>