Electric buses hit streets of Tauranga

Five are now operating on the NZ Bus run Bayhopper fleet, the first in New Zealand outside of a main metropolitan centre. They’re part of Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s commitment to low carbon public transport.

Regional Council Chief Executive Fiona McTavish says transport emissions represent the largest emissions sector for Tauranga City.
“The buses are zero emission and because they are electric have reduced noise levels and provide a smoother ride for passengers and the driver,” Ms McTavish says.

NZ Bus CEO Barry Hinkley says the electric buses were designed by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), the United Kingdom’s largest bus manufacturer, combining their bus technology and componentry with the BYD electric power train. The buses were assembled at the ADL factory in Southern China and ADL is the company that built Auckland city’s first two electric commuter buses. 

“It’s great to play a part in public transport history in Tauranga and our team is excited to be involved with this cutting edge technology,” Mr Hinkley says.
“ADL have built more than 350 electric buses for use worldwide, with a similar model to the Tauranga buses being found on the streets of London.”

The five electric buses are based out of the Greerton depot where each one has a charging station. They predominantly service the HL, CL and CT Connector routes.
The up-front cost of an electric bus can be as much as twice the cost of a diesel equivalent but the operating costs are significantly lower.

Electric bus facts:

  • The buses can travel 200km on a single charge
  • Each charger can deliver 80kwh which means a single bus can be charged in 3 hours
  • Each bus will be recharged overnight
  • The buses have a seated capacity of 34 adults and a total capacity of 55 adults
  • A fully laden bus weights 16,000kg
  • The expected battery life is 12 years