TRANZIT NZ ELECTRIC DOUBLE-DECK BUS FLEET PHASE-IN STARTS: WELLINGTON

By: Fabian Cotter, Video by: Courtesy of: tranzurban / TRANZIT GROUP NZ


A LEADING KIWI BUS OPERATOR, Tranzit Group NZ, has started its highly anticipated electric double-deck bus programme, with delivery of the first 10 of 32 over the next four years underway in Wellington, it’s reported.

TRANZIT NZ ELECTRIC DOUBLE-DECK BUS FLEET PHASE-IN STARTS: WELLINGTON
A decade of research and development has led to Tranzit Group's fully electric double-decker order, it's stated.

According to the company, the launch of New Zealand’s first fully electric bus fleet in Wellington is the result of a decade of research and development by Tranzit Group.

"It’s a special day for us, Wellington and New Zealand," said Tranzit Group managing director Paul Snelgrove.

"New Zealand now has the chance to see the future of public transport, and it’s a game-changer. In our 90-plus years in service as a bus operator, we saw that bringing this technology to New Zealand was not only our job, but our responsibility.

"The world is changing. We believe Wellington and New Zealand should be leading the way in public transport, and we’re delighted that the Greater Wellington Regional Council shares that vision."

The capital’s new fully electric double-decker (EVDD) fleet comprises cutting-edge technology, it’s stated. Built and assembled by Kiwi Bus Builders in Tauranga, the electric double-deckers utilise the latest, safest lithium ion-based battery technology from global developer Microvast, it’s claimed.

LONG-TERM PLANNING

"We’ve been working toward this for the past 10 years and, with the support of the Wellington Regional Council, we’ve ramped that up in the past year to actively sourcing and lock down the very best options, bearing in mind the particular demands of the Wellington commuter network," said Tranzit Group operations director Keven Snelgove.

"What we have is a fleet of EVDDs that’s top-of-the-line. From range to ride to reliability - we settled for nothing but the finest available.

"We looked at innovation in networks and services in global centres throughout Asia, Europe and North America to select the best technology for Wellington. Our decision was based on performance, reliability and consideration for the environment, without compromise."

As reported, each bus weighs about 12 tonnes - about the same as one of Tranzit’s new single-deck Euro 6 diesels built specifically for Wellington - and costs $1 million. Dimensions have been kept purposely compact to meet the requirements of Wellington routes, with each bus standing 4.75m high, 2.5m wide and 10.4m long, it’s stated.

"Power, reliability and range - the results of the new electric double-deckers exceeded even our very high expectations," said Keven Snelgrove.

The initial fleet of 10 electric double-deckers started to be phased in from July 15, 2018, in Wellington and will be bolstered by 10 more in 2020 and another 12 in 2021. They will comprise a fleet of 234 brand-new electric and diesel buses to service the bulk of Wellington and Hutt Valley commuter routes.

 Related article: Christchurch operator Red Bus' electric order
Related article: Christchurch operator Red Bus' electric order

HOW TO CHARGE

Infrastructure is in place to ensure the new electric buses work at optimum capacity, Tranzit states. Each double-deck can carry up to 82 passengers and travel up to 150km on a single charge costing as little as NZ$22.

Each bus is charged overnight at Tranzit’s Tranzurban depot in Rongotai, with fast-charging of 10 minutes’ duration taking place at strategically placed stations en route.

"That maximises range and efficiency, meaning that our EVDDs are not only up to what is a pretty demanding, but great for the environment and super-comfy as well," explained Keven Snelgrove.

"It’s pretty cool to know that Wellington’s going to have the safest, cleanest and greenest bus fleet to have ever operated on Kiwi roads."

Earlier this fortnight, Tranzit was named a finalist in the 2018 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards for its innovative work to transform New Zealand’s diesel bus fleet to fully electric vehicles.

ABOUT MICROVAST

Founded in 2006 in Houston, Texas, USA – and with outlets in China, Singapore, Germany and London - Microvast is a fast-growing market leader in design, development and manufacturing of ultra-fast charging, long-life battery power systems with superior safety for electric vehicles, it’s stated.

Specifically designed to address the critical constraints currently facing electric vehicle development, its electric vehicle battery system solution paves the way for mass adoption of electric vehicles, it’s claimed.

ABOUT KIWI BUS BUILDERS

As the company states, "…it‘s not time nor sheer experience that continues to stand us apart. It‘s our underlying philosophy: to build you a better bus. That is, one that‘ll earn you more and cost you less in the long run. One you are happy with."

Kiwi Bus Builders says it not only builds with quality parts, but also develops a welcoming relationship with the customer. The company enjoys its work, and wants to enjoy working with customers – whose satisfaction is as much a part of this process as any chassis or side frame - and that‘s the way it‘s been since day one, it says.

Kiwi Bus Builders is located in Tauranga, in the Bay Of Plenty on the North Island of New Zealand. Tauranga has recently reached city status with a population of over 100,000. Its recent growth has been matched by the growth of Kiwi Bus Builders and, in the past few years, staff numbers have tripled.

The company’s Wellington facility in Seaview, Lower Hutt, can handle a variety of repair jobs on coaches, buses, trucks, and campervans/motorhomes. This includes glass replacement; panel repair or replacement; body mechanical repairs; floor repairs; and rebuilding and refurbishment of interior layouts.

AWARDS FINALIST 2018

The Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards provides an annual opportunity to recognise excellence and achievement across the energy sector, it’s stated.

The 2018 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards will be held on Wednesday 22 August, at Cordis, Auckland, formerly known as The Langham.

The inaugural event was held in 2010 and in 2017 it was attended by more than 620 industry members. The event is now the industry's premier black-tie gala event and is attended at an influencer and decision-maker level, it’s stated.

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