Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) and BYD have announced the delivery of six BYD ADL electric buses to Fullers360 for Auckland Transport services on Waiheke Island. An additional two electric buses will be delivered before Christmas, allowing half of all buses on the island to be converted to zero-emission operation and making the Island the first suburb in Auckland to operate an electric bus fleet.
The Auckland Transport Waiheke Island bus network connects communities with Fullers360’s frequent ferries to the mainland. At the launch event, attended by the Mayor of Auckland and the British Consul General in Auckland, ADL also announced its renewed partnership with local manufacturer Kiwi Bus Builders. This will now include the assembly of electric buses, which for the New Zealand market had until now taken place overseas. In addition to two-axle models like those for Waiheke Island, the partners will produce 12.6m long, three-axle electric buses, which ADL has designed for the specific requirements of bus operation in New Zealand by carrying 78 passengers without the requirement of an overweight permit, a first for New Zealand.
As the country prepares to fully transition its bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2035, ADL said local assembly will support up to 100 jobs at Kiwi Bus Builders. ADL’s General Manager for New Zealand, Tony Moore, said:
“We have been a major supplier to New Zealand for almost 10 years and during this time have already supplied 500 vehicles with the help of our friends at Kiwi Bus Builders. As Auckland Transport and other transport authorities prepare to move to a zero-emission fleet, we are renewing this partnership in a clear sign of our support for New Zealand jobs and our commitment to this market.”
Richard Drummond, Managing Director of Kiwi Bus Builders, said: “The Enviro200 range of electric buses are not only designed for our local requirements here in New Zealand but are also built in this country. With investment in updated build techniques, we will be able to scale up our production to meet demand from Auckland and elsewhere in New Zealand as the fleet transformation gets underway ahead of the 2035 zero emissions target.”
ADL’s electric buses for New Zealand are part of the BYD ADL Enviro200EV range and use the latest BYD iron phosphate battery and driveline, already in use in over 60,000 buses worldwide. Waiheke’s 11-metre buses can carry 37 seated passengers and have a range of between 300 and 400km on one charge.
New Zealand has been actively promoting policies to deal with climate change. In 2017, the country announced plans to have a fully renewable electricity supply by 2035. In 2019, its parliament passed a bill to tackle climate change, aiming to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and make the country largely carbon-neutral by 2050.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff attended the launch event and said it was great to see the first zero-emission electric buses on Waiheke enter service: “Vehicle emissions make up more than 40% of Auckland’s carbon emissions, so electrifying the Waiheke Island bus fleet to create a more sustainable public transport network will help us reduce overall emissions and further progress our climate change goals.”