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Red Bus introducing electric buses to New Zealand next year

Christchurch, New Zealand transit operator Red Bus will introduce New Zealand’s first fully electric urban bus service to Christchurch early next year. This follows the signing of a deal to purchase three electric ADL/BYD buses as part of its commitment to gradually introducing new innovative technology across Christchurch public transport services.

The ADL/BYD electric buses have been developed through a joint venture between BYD Auto in China and Alexander Dennis Limited in the UK. Red Bus will monitor their performance through its telematics monitoring system which provides real time feedback to drivers on their acceleration, braking, cornering and speed; as well as driver and customer feedback.

The new buses, which will be delivered by next March, will be used on the direct service route 29 between the CBD and Christchurch Airport which carries more than 200,000 passengers annually.

Red Bus chief executive Paul McNoe says this route between the city centre and the airport is ideal for the fully-battery electric-powered ADL/BYD buses that will be permanent replacements for three diesel buses to expose this cutting edge technology and commitment to sustainability to Christchurch visitors and residents.

Using electric buses on the airport service achieves 4 objectives simultaneously; an improvement of customer service through lower internal and external noise levels, the immediate and long term reduction in local exhaust emissions, reduced carbon consumption for this service and the opportunity to demonstrate the latest vehicle technology to our Christchurch residents.

We are expecting immediate environmental and health benefits from these battery electric powered buses. The zero tailpipe emissions reduces our annual carbon footprint by 5% or 290 tonnes with reduced noise levels inside and outside the buses. The reduced noise levels improve the service for passengers and residents alike.

—Paul McNoe

The introduction of the buses also supports the Government’s commitment to reach its 2050 emissions reduction target. Red Bus is committed to using renewable energy sources and assisting with New Zealand’s contribution to climate change.

Red Bus is interested in the potential for wider use of electric buses and will be testing the new buses on other routes—including Christchurch’s hill suburbs—once they have settled into service.


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