The government’s plan to convert New Zealand’s public bus fleet to electric would cost $1,947,750,000 for the current 2597 buses alone, says the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union. That is a $1000 cost for every New Zealand household.
Each new bus has a price tag of $750,000 compared to $420,000 for their diesel counterparts. Additionally, if the bus fleet grows as it has done over the last decade, increasing by 450 buses, that adds an extra $337.5 million on top.
“This is central government forcing the cost of its EV policies onto local government, and then offering them a pittance to deal with the issue,” says Taxpayers' Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke.
“The transition to an electric fleet is also riddled with hidden costs such as charging stations, grid upgrades and infrastructure changes. En route charging stations for example, can cost between $140,000 to $210,000 NZD a pop – and that’s not including construction costs. You don’t just have to buy electric buses; you have to buy the whole system.”
“Ultimately, those who will bear the brunt of this cost are ratepayers, particularly those in urban centers, who are already staring down unprecedented rates increases in the coming years. It’s hard to see how electric buses are a priority when councils in major centres are struggling to keep sewage below ground.”