Elec­tric buses charge into town

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

CHRIS MCKEEN

Two E-Buses are to join Auck­land Trans­port’s fleet in a bid to com­bat cli­mate change.

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