Auckland Transport (AT) is buying New Zealand's first hydrogen fuel cell bus – and it will be built right here in New Zealand.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, "Transport emissions account for 47 per cent of Auckland's total carbon emissions, so it’s critical that we transition to a clean transport system as quickly as possible."
"This trial of hydrogen-powered buses is another important step towards reducing carbon emissions in Auckland, so we can hold climate heating to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees."
Darek Koper, AT's Bus Services Manager says the organisation is keen to learn more about the possibilities of hydrogen power for Auckland's bus fleet. "We are committed to a low emission future, and hydrogen could be one of the best ways to deliver it as it has the potential to address the range anxiety associated with batteries on long and high frequency bus routes."
"We are also delighted that the first bus will be built in New Zealand. Having the first bus developed and built locally is an important step in creating new hydrogen industry in New Zealand."
Auckland Transport will trial hydrogen fuel cell buses in partnership with bus operators and Ports of Auckland, who are building a hydrogen production and refuelling facility at their Waitematā port, another first for Auckland.
Image: Model images of the hydrogen fuel cell bus by Global Bus Ventures (GBV).
The first bus will be built by Global Bus Ventures (GBV), located in Christchurch. It will be 13.5m long with three-axles and provide capacity for up to 78 passengers.
GBV Executive Vice President Mike Parker says GBV is excited about the opportunity to support Auckland's transition to a low emission fleet. "AT's decision to select GBV for the first hydrogen bus project is an important step in growing high tech bus manufacturing in New Zealand."
Rosie Mercer, Ports of Auckland's General Manager Sustainability says "We are pleased to be able to support Auckland Transport and contribute to Auckland's low emission goals. Hydrogen has great potential for use in heavy vehicles and this trial is a key step in bringing this technology to Auckland. We have applied for resource consent for our hydrogen production and refuelling facility and procurement is underway."
The bus is expected to start trials from September 2020.