Alexander Dennis (ADL) has delivered the first three-axle BYD ADL Enviro200EV XLB for New Zealand to launch customer Auckland Transport. The 12.6m long vehicle has three axles to allow it to qualify for reduced Road User Charges in New Zealand thanks to lower axle loads. Joining the Auckland Transport fleet, the zero emission bus has a total passenger capacity of 78 and will be evaluated on different services in New Zealand’s largest city, in trials supported by energy supplier Mercury. The bus has 36 seats, and two wheelchair spaces are provided which are accessed via a manual ramp at the front door. It will be supported by ADL’s local aftermarket team.
ADL’s electric buses in New Zealand have already completed more than one million zero-emission kilometres in service. Like its two-axle siblings, the Enviro200EV XLB will be built locally by ADL’s partner Kiwi Bus Builders on BYD chassis, supporting New Zealand’s plans to transition to a decarbonised bus fleet by 2035.
ADL’s General Manager in New Zealand, Tony Moore, said: “The launch of our extra-large electric bus marks an exciting new chapter in our partnership with Auckland Transport. After bringing the first electric buses to the city in 2018, we now have a zero-emission bus that is fully designed to New Zealand requirements – and is made locally, boosting the economy and supporting skilled jobs.”
Auckland Transport Metro Decarbonisation Manager, Darek Koper, said the introduction of the bus completes the procurement of the zero-emission trial bus fleet: “This trial fleet provides a range of options for New Zealand bus operators and it will build operator confidence in new technology. It will also allow them to understand operational requirements and costs to inform future procurement decisions, while supporting the accelerated transition to zero emission buses in Auckland. We are pleased to team up with Mercury and our initial operator, Ritchies, in joining the electric revolution.”
Mercury’s Energy Futures Manager, Buddhika Rajapakse, said it was exciting to see cleaner, renewable energy powering Auckland Transport’s fleet: “This is a great way to help Aucklanders to kiss oil goodbye. Auckland Transport’s bus fleet accounts for 93,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per annum, the largest operational carbon footprint in Auckland’s public transport network. By running on 80% renewable electricity, electric buses will provide Aucklanders with more choice in low emissions transport.
“If New Zealand is to take timely action to decarbonise its transport system, we cannot rely on the electrification of private vehicles alone. We must also shift our mindset towards reducing or avoiding travel, active modes such as walking and cycling, and of course public transport. This is a wonderful next step Auckland Transport is taking to decarbonise our public transport system, and we’re excited to see how the team continues to further its ambitions of a cleaner transport future.”