Electric buses charge into town
Two electric buses are set to hit Auckland’s roads in a trial partfunded by the Government.
Auckland Transport has been awarded up to $500,000 for the trial and about $300,000 for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The council-controlled organisation will meet the rest of the cost of the trial, which is expected to start later this year.
The E-Buses will be used across the city on different routes and conditions in order to be fully tested.
Auckland Transport chief metro officer Mark Lambert said modern electric buses had a range of more than 200km from a single charge.
They can be enabled for fast or overnight charging.
‘‘We will trial two E-Buses to gather real operating data and to raise public awareness of the technology,’’ Lambert said.
‘‘One of our challenges is to accurately estimate when this technology will meet the needs of our customers and service and route characteristics and also commercial viability.’’
Lambert said Auckland Transport is working to develop a Clean Bus Roadmap for the city.
There are an estimated 1900 fully electric cars in New Zealand which is forecast to increase to 64,000 by 2021 as large organisations replace petrol fleets with electric.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the electric bus trial was a step in the right direction for Auckland to combat climate change.
‘‘Whether it is trains, buses or cars, electrification of our transport network is key to making Auckland a cleaner more sustainable city, and providing a better customer experience for our public transport users.’’
Funding has also been provided to install 60 electric vehicle charging stations at parking facilities around Auckland.
The announcement comes as AT hikes public transport fares from January 29.
Some fares, particularly if using cash, will increase by up to 50c adding significant cost to a weekly fare.
The main changes for AT HOP bus and trains users for zones one, two and four will increase by 5c and 10c.
The fare for those with a tertiary concession will increase by 4c to 8c between one zone and four zones.
AT HOP monthly bus and train pass will also increase by $10.
Two E-Buses are to join Auckland Transport’s fleet in a bid to combat climate change.