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Auckland Transport unveils first double-decker electric bus

The historic double-decker bus model is set to be put to the test across routes for both Kinetic and Auckland Transport

New Zealand operator Auckland Transport (AT) has welcomed the first double-decker electric bus into the Auckland fleet. 

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown, AT CEO Dean Kimpton and Kinetic New Zealand managing director Calum Haslop attended the test drive of the new bus at Kinetic’s Mangere depot. 

The addition of the first electric double-decker bus to AT’s operations brings Auckland’s zero-emissions bus fleet to 138 zero-emissions, making it the largest number for a New Zealand and in the top two for Australasia. 

AT infrastructure and fleet specification manager Edward Wright says it’s exciting to witness the launch of its first electric double-decker bus. 

“We’re sure our customers will love the experience of travelling on the quieter and smoother bus,” Wright says. 

“It will primarily service Mt Eden Road, Great North Road and Dominion Road routes. This will be a great opportunity for Kinetic to test how an electric double-decker performs in Auckland conditions.” 

AT says with an average double-decker diesel bus in its fleet consuming 79,020kgs of carbon emissions per year, the electric bus will reduce a single vehicle’s emissions by an average of 79 tonnes per year. 

An Auckland Transport greenhouse gas inventory report for the 2021-2022 financial year found that AT’s bus fleet is responsible for 79 per cent of the organisation’s emissions. 

Haslop says Kinetic has brought the double-decker electric bus to Auckland to test its abilities across the multiple routes that it operates. 

“The bus has already undergone extensive off-road testing where its safety systems were checked under load and speed, but now it’s time to test the bus where it really counts, which is on the city’s busy bus routes,” Haslop says. 

“Of special importance is that the drivers who will be assigned to operating it have also undergone specialised training, which encompasses not only the size of the vehicle, but also its operation as an electric bus.” 

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