As part of the Low Emissions Roadmap, Auckland Transport plans to only procure low emission buses from 2025 and have a full low emission fleet by 2040.
Waiheke Island has become the first suburb in Auckland, New Zealand, to operate an electric bus fleet.
Six of the eight electric buses purchased by transport provider Fullers360 went into service by Waiheke Bus Company late October 2020. The other two electric buses will join the fleet in December and the remaining nine buses in the 17-strong fleet will be replaced for electric as they reach their end of life.
It is hoped the arrival of the first six electric buses will see a reduction of approximately 538 metric tonnes greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 ) per year on Waiheke, which is equivalent to 718 typical New Zealand homes’ electricity use for one year.
The electric buses each carry 37 passengers and service the existing Auckland Transport Waiheke Island route. The buses produce zero emissions and can travel up to 400km on a single charge. The buses will be charged and stored at the Waiheke bus depot.
“This is a real milestone for Waiheke, and a big step forward in Auckland’s plan to create a greener and more sustainable city,” said Auckland mayor Phil Goff.
“We know that Waiheke residents share our goal of a greener future. At Auckland Transport, we recognise that how we get around day to day can have significant impacts on our environment and community”
He added: “Transport accounts for over 40 per cent of Auckland’s overall carbon emissions. Working towards a low-emissions public transport network and providing alternatives to private vehicles is an essential part of reducing our impact on global warming and heading off a climate change disaster.”
To commemorate the island’s first emissions-free buses, Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick revealed the winners of Fullers360 and Auckland Transport’s youth art competition, which called for local children and teens to illustrate a zero emissions future on the island.
The competition received more than 60 entries and the six winning artworks are being displayed on the rear of each of the new electric buses.
“Cutting carbon emissions is about creating a better future for our kids, so it’s important that we involve them in producing a more sustainable world,” said Goff.
Shane Ellison, CEO of Auckland Transport, hailed it as a significant milestone for Waiheke Island.
“We know that Waiheke residents share our goal of a greener future. At Auckland Transport, we recognise that how we get around day to day can have significant impacts on our environment and community,” he said.
“This is why we are working with our partners like Fullers360 to deliver safe, innovative and sustainable transport for Auckland. Sustainability is already at the core of our business. As part of the Low Emissions Roadmap, Auckland Transport plans to only procure low emission buses from 2025 and have a full low emission fleet by 2040,” added Ellison.
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