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Taranaki council adds electric bus to New Plymouth transport fleet

New Plymouth’s new electric bus is expected to cut more than 18,000 litres of diesel per year off its road

Taranaki Regional Council is set to introduce the first electric bus onto the streets of New Plymouth after securing funding from the NZTA Climate Emergency Response Fund for the vehicle. 

Taranaki Regional Council transport engagement manager Cheryl Gazley says the electric bus will remove approximately 50 tonnes of carbon emissions from the fleet in its first year of operations and is a great start to the council’s long-term goal of transitioning from diesel to electric vehicles. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured the funding for this e-bus as part of NZTA’s drive to decarbonise bus fleets across the country. It’s a greener and cleaner way for people to get from A to B,” Gazley says. 

“We know our community cares deeply about the environment, so it’s pleasing that we’re able to start the journey towards going fully electric and take some action to mitigate the threat from climate change while also improving air quality. 

“Passengers using the Citylink routes in New Plymouth will also enjoy a quieter ride. We’re using it across all city-wide routes so the public will be able to spot the new bus out and about when it goes into service on April 3.” 

The electric bus has been made by China Rail and can take up to 54 passengers. The bus’s 321kW battery will also be powered by net-zero electricity from Meridian Energy. 

Taranaki Regional Council says the new vehicle will remove more than 57,000km of fossil fuel powered travel from the region’s roads and cut approximately 18,500 litres of diesel use per year. 

The council will receive $308,000 from NZTA for the bus, while the other half is being funded by operator Tranzit Group. Council chair Charlotte Littlewood says the electric bus is a major win for the New Plymouth community. 

“It’s not only a greener vehicle that will help lower emissions for our bus fleets, but we were also successful in the funding application, so there is no cost to the Taranaki ratepayer,” Littlewood says. 

“I can’t wait to see the e-bus being used by the public and I hope this is the first step on the road to moving the bus fleet from using fossil fuels to low emission alternatives.” 

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