Date: 4 September 2023
Auckland Transport (AT) now has 133 zero-emission buses in the fleet, making it the largest number for a New Zealand city, and in the top two in Australasia.
The road to completing its zero-emission journey continues to progress as Auckland Transport (AT) just released the latest Low Emission Bus Roadmap for Auckland.
The Roadmap lays out the plan for transitioning the whole of Auckland’s bus fleet to low emissions. AT is targeting a completely zero-emission fleet by 2035.
In 2018, the Auckland Transport Board endorsed the first Low Emission Bus Roadmap. This was subsequently reviewed and updated in 2020.
Edward Wright, AT’s Manager of Metro Specifications (Fleet and Infrastructure), says that given the financial and logistical constraints to transition the entire bus fleet to zero-emission, the new transition target is aligned to the Government’s target of 2035.
“This allows for a more rapid transition than the originally targeted 2040, while mitigating some of the risks and challenges introduced by targeting 2030.”
Since the establishment of The Roadmap, AT has conducted several trials with zero-emission buses. All trials to date have delivered positive results in service reliability, customer experience, and operational savings.
“This has given both AT and our operators confidence that zero-emission vehicles can perform the duties required of them in terms of range, and for lower operational costs per kilometre compared to diesel, Mr Wright says.
“We have had great feedback from our customers about travelling on the quieter and smoother buses too.”
Auckland Transport undertakes a regular greenhouse gas emissions inventory to track its progress towards reducing its emissions footprint.
The inventory undertaken for financial year 2021-2022 highlighted that the bus fleet is responsible for 79 per cent of the organisation’s emissions, emitting 75,530 tonnes of CO₂e.
“This emphasises how critical delivering a fully zero-emission bus fleet is for Auckland Transport,” Mr Wright says.
“With the current bus fleet being responsible for the majority of the organisation’s emissions, transitioning the fleet to zero-emission is the most impactful action we can take towards achieving the Government’s target of a zero-carbon future by 2050.”
Major milestones so far on the Mission Electric journey for Auckland:
- Since the establishment of the first Roadmap, Auckland Transport has successfully contracted half of Waiheke’s bus fleet to electric from November 2020 - with the remainder of the fleet to be replaced by electric buses progressively, as the current diesel fleet reaches its end of life.
- The previous milestone to have all new buses procured as zero-emission from 2025 has also been accelerated and came into effect on 1 July 2021.
- There are now whole routes that are operated by fully-electric fleets: AirportLINK from Manukau Bus Station via Puhinui Station to the Airport has been electric from January 2021, the CityLINK service operating in the city centre has been electric since April 2021.
- In November 2022, TāmakiLink transitioned to a fully electric fleet and 26 other electric buses were deployed to routes in the Eastern Bays area of Auckland.
- A further 43 buses have just entered service, making route 24 our latest fully zero-emission route.
- As well as electric buses, Auckland Transport continues to trial the only hydrogen fuel cell bus in New Zealand.
See more at Mission Electric (at.govt.nz)