ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

A LEAD­ING KIWI BUS OP­ER­A­TOR, Tranzit Group NZ, has started its highly an­tic­i­pated elec­tric dou­ble-deck bus pro­gramme, with de­liv­ery of the first 10 of 32 over the next four years un­der­way in Welling­ton, it’s re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, the launch of New Zealand’s first fully elec­tric bus fleet in Welling­ton is the re­sult of a decade of re­search and de­vel­op­ment by Tranzit Group.

“It’s a spe­cial day for us, Welling­ton and New Zealand,” said Tranzit Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Snel­grove. “New Zealand now has the chance to see the fu­ture of pub­lic trans­port, and it’s a game-changer. In our 90-plus years in ser­vice as a bus op­er­a­tor, we saw that bring­ing this tech­nol­ogy to New Zealand was not only our job, but our re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“The world is chang­ing. We be­lieve Welling­ton and New Zealand should be lead­ing the way in pub­lic trans­port, and we’re de­lighted that the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil shares that vi­sion.”

The cap­i­tal’s new fully elec­tric dou­ble-decker (EVDD) fleet com­prises cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy, it’s stated. Built and as­sem­bled by Kiwi Bus Builders in Tau­ranga, the elec­tric dou­ble-deck­ers utilise the lat­est, safest lithium ion-based battery tech­nol­ogy from global de­vel­oper Mi­crovast, it’s claimed.


“We’ve been work­ing to­ward this for the past 10 years and, with the sup­port of the Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil, we’ve ramped that up in the past year to ac­tively sourc­ing and lock down the very best op­tions, bear­ing in mind the par­tic­u­lar de­mands of the Welling­ton com­muter net­work,” said Tranzit Group op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor Keven Snel­gove. “What we have is a fleet of EVDDs that’s top-of-the-line. From range to ride to re­li­a­bil­ity - we set­tled for noth­ing but the finest.

“We looked at in­no­va­tion in net­works and ser­vices in global cen­tres through­out Asia, Europe and North Amer­ica to se­lect the best tech­nol­ogy for Welling­ton. Our de­ci­sion was based on per­for­mance, re­li­a­bil­ity and con­sid­er­a­tion for the en­vi­ron­ment, with­out com­pro­mise.”

Each bus weighs about 12 tonnes - about the same as one of Tranzit’s new sin­gle-deck Euro 6 diesels built specif­i­cally for Welling­ton - and costs $1 mil­lion. Di­men­sions have been kept pur­posely com­pact to meet the re­quire­ments of Welling­ton routes, with each bus stand­ing 4.75m high, 2.5m wide and 10.4m long, it’s stated.

“Power, re­li­a­bil­ity and range

- the re­sults of the new elec­tric dou­ble-deck­ers ex­ceeded our very high ex­pec­ta­tions,” Snel­grove said.

The ini­tial fleet of 10 elec­tric dou­ble-deck­ers started to be phased in from July 15, 2018, in Welling­ton and will be bol­stered by 10 more in 2020 and an­other 12 in 2021.

“We’ve been work­ing to­ward this for the past 10 years.”

They will com­prise a fleet of 234 brand-new elec­tric and diesel buses to ser­vice the bulk of Welling­ton and Hutt Val­ley com­muter routes.


In­fra­struc­ture is in place to en­sure the new elec­tric buses work at op­ti­mum ca­pac­ity, Tranzit states. Each dou­ble-deck can carry up to 82 pas­sen­gers and travel up to 150km on a sin­gle charge cost­ing as lit­tle as NZ$22. Each bus is charged overnight at Tranzit’s Tranzur­ban de­pot in Ron­go­tai, with fast-charg­ing of 10 min­utes’ du­ra­tion taking place at strate­gi­cally placed sta­tions en route.

“That max­imises range and ef­fi­ciency, mean­ing that our EVDDs are not only up to what is a pretty de­mand­ing, but great for the en­vi­ron­ment and su­per-comfy as well,” ex­plained Keven Snel­grove.

“It’s pretty cool to know that Welling­ton’s go­ing to have the safest, clean­est and green­est bus fleet to have ever op­er­ated on Kiwi roads.”

Ear­lier this fort­night, Tranzit was named a fi­nal­ist in the 2018 Deloitte En­ergy Excellence Awards for its in­no­va­tive work to trans­form New Zealand’s diesel bus fleet to fully elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Be­low: A decade of re­search and de­vel­op­ment has led to Tranzit Group’s fully elec­tric dou­bledecker or­der, it’s stated.

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