EV bus joins Taranaki’s public transport fleet

Taranaki’s public transport fleet is going greener and quieter with the addition of an e-bus on urban routes in New Plymouth.

Taranaki Regional Council has secured funding from Waka Kotahi/NZTA’s Climate Emergency Response Fund for the electric vehicle – the first e-bus to hit the roads in the region.

Cheryl Gazley, Council Transport Engagement Manager, said the new vehicle will remove about 50 tonnes of CO2 in the first year and is a great start to the long-term goal of moving from diesel to electric vehicles across the bus network.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured the funding for this e-bus as part of NZTA’s drive to decarbonise bus fleets across the country. It’s a greener and cleaner way for people to get from A to B,” says Ms Gazley.

“We know our community cares deeply about the environment so it’s pleasing that we’re able to start the journey towards going fully electric and take some action to mitigate the threat from climate change while also improving air quality.

“Passengers using the Citylink routes in New Plymouth will also enjoy a quieter ride. We’re using it across all city-wide routes so the public will be able to spot the new bus out and about when it goes into service on 3 April.”

The Council will receive $308,000 from Waka Kotahi/NZTA with the other half of the cost being paid by the contractor, the Tranzit Group.

Council Chair Charlotte Littlewood welcomed the addition of the e-bus to the Taranaki fleet.

“This is very much a win-win for our community. It’s not only a greener vehicle that will help lower emissions for our buses but we were successful in the funding application so there is no cost to the Taranaki ratepayer,” she said.

“I can’t wait to see the e-bus being used by the public and I hope this is the first step on the road to moving the bus fleet from using fossil fuels to low emission alternatives.”

The e-bus is made by China Rail and has a 321kW battery, capacity for 27 seated and 27 standing passengers and will be charged in New Plymouth, using net-zero electricity from Meridian Energy.

Replacing a diesel bus, the new vehicle will remove more than 57,000km of fossil fuel-powered travel from the region’s roads, cutting about 18,500 litres of diesel use each year.

Taranaki public transport: fast facts

  • Nearly 700,000 people use buses in Taranaki
  • Public transport usage rose 27.6% in 2022/23 compared with the previous year
  • Patronage on Citylink services in New Plymouth rose 23.7% to 625,000
  • Taranaki Regional Council provides public transport in the region
  • There are three main services – Citylink (New Plymouth district), New Plymouth to Hāwera and Coastal services, and Southlink (South Taranaki buses).

The e-bus is being used on urban routes in New Plymouth from 3 April.