New Zealand’s first electric bus depot unveiled

New Zealand’s first electric bus depot was unveiled on Wednesday, a significant step towards Auckland Transport’s goal of a zero emission bus fleet.

Located on Morrin Road, Panmure, hidden behind a group of industrial buildings, the depot has 35 buses with chargers to keep them running.

A public transport user can expect a smoother, quieter ride on the electric buses, which are currently running on the TāmakiLink, which services east Auckland and some central routes on Mount Eden Road and Dominion Road.

One electric bus on average saves about 5.3 to 6.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and their batteries – which are charged overnight – can travel more than 350km a day.

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Big guns from Auckland Transport, Vector and New Zealand Bus gathered at the depot to officially open the space, and gave reporters a run down on how the fleet would impact Auckland’s carbon emissions.

“This marks a step in our journey towards zero emissions and a zero emission future,” Calum Haslop, the CEO of NZ Bus said.

“This depot used to house 44 diesel buses, and now houses – very proudly – 35 electric buses. This is a 100% fully electrified depot. You won’t see diesel tanks anywhere.”

The bus depot was opened by Auckland Transport’s Darek Koper, Vector’s Peter Ryan, NZ Bus’ Calum Haslop and councillor Andy Baker on Wednesday.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The bus depot was opened by Auckland Transport’s Darek Koper, Vector’s Peter Ryan, NZ Bus’ Calum Haslop and councillor Andy Baker on Wednesday.

There are now 155 electric buses on the road throughout New Zealand, with 58 in Auckland.

By the end of 2023, there will be over 100 electric buses in Auckland, with plans to increase the fleet to 175 over the next couple of years.

“Within that time, we will have over 300 zero emission vehicles across New Zealand,” Haslop said.

“We are playing a significant role with helping New Zealand achieve its goal of zero emissions.”

The electric bus depot is the first in New Zealand.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The electric bus depot is the first in New Zealand.

Andy Baker, a councillor for the Franklin ward, thanked everyone from the various Government agencies who had taken part in electrifying the depot.

“The future is electric, and that is something we have all got to get our heads around,” he said.

Auckland Transport decarbonisation manager Darek Koper​ said 5.5% of Auckland’s bus fleet was now electric, which he said was “progress, but there’s more to come”.

Koper announced 44 more electric buses would be joining the fleet in New Lynn, which prompted a cheer from the crowd.

The bus depot was opened with a waiata from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

The bus depot was opened with a waiata from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

“It’s a great start, but there’s more work to do. We are on track to meet our goal of a zero emission fleet of 50% by 2030, and 100% at the latest in 2035,” he said.

Koper said they had taken a step towards their overall goal, which is to have “zero fossil fuel streets in the city centre, decarbonise the main part of our city and reduce the harmful impacts of exhaust emissions”.

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