In recognition of Zero Emissions Day, 21 September, Fullers360 and Auckland Transport are delighted to announce the first of its electric buses will take to the roads on Waiheke in November.
Six of the eight electric buses purchased by Fullers360 will go into service by Waiheke Bus Company by early November, making it the first suburb in Auckland to operate an electric bus fleet as the company commences replacing its diesel buses currently in service. The other two electric buses will join the fleet in December and the remaining nine diesel buses in the 17 strong fleet will be replaced as they reach their end of life.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said, “Vehicle emissions make up more than 40% of Auckland’s carbon emissions, so electrifying the Waiheke Island bus fleet to create a more sustainable public transport network will help us reduce overall emissions and further progress our climate change goals.
“Earlier this month Auckland Council also rolled out the first electric recycling collection vehicle on Waiheke, so it’s great to see the island taking another step forward in its goal to becoming all electric by 2030.”
Fullers360 Chief Executive Officer Mike Horne says with the first six electric buses coming to Waiheke, we will see a reduction of approximately 538 tCO2e of Green House Gas emissions per year on Waiheke.
This potential reduction is equivalent to 718 typical New Zealand homes' electricity use for one year.
“We are very excited to confirm, following an announcement last year, that plans to introduce electric buses for Waiheke is on track and that residents and visitors to the island will be able to enjoy a cleaner, quieter travel experience in little over a month. We are thrilled to contribute to the Island’s aspiration for a “greener” future.
“Despite the impacts of COVID-19, Fullers360 remains steadfast in our ambition to grow a larger, more effective, and sustainable transport network. Our investment in the electric buses is part of our vision to operate an environmentally-friendly transport service on and off the water,” says Mr Horne.
The electric buses each carry 37 passengers and will go into service on the existing Auckland Transport Island route and can travel up to 400km on a single charge. They produce zero emissions and are very quiet in comparison to diesel buses.
Darek Koper, manager of bus services for Auckland Transport, says this is an exciting milestone for Waiheke.
“Auckland Transport, together with Fullers360, is proud to be ushering in a new era of green bus transportation on the Island - marking a significant step in our acceleration of the Low Emission Bus Roadmap and working towards the goals of Auckland’s Climate Action Plan.”
To celebrate the arrival of Waiheke's first electric buses, Fullers360 and Auckland Transport are launching a youth art competition, calling for local kids and teens to illustrate a zero emissions future on the island. The winning entries will be displayed on the back of the electric buses for all to enjoy when they go into service.
“At Fullers360, we are proud to be working with Auckland Transport to contribute to a sustainable future in the Hauraki Gulf. The shift to electric is a significant milestone for Waiheke Island residents and we can’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than encouraging budding young artists to literally paint a greener future for us through this competition,” adds Mr Horne.
The school art competition is open to all Waiheke Island children aged between 5 and 18. Director of the Waiheke Community Art Gallery, will judge the entries and select the winning artwork. Competition entries close at 5pm on Friday 16 October 2020, so the school holidays will be a great time for children to work on their entries.