In New Zealand’s most populous city, Auckland, 12 new electric buses are to hit city streets by the end of the year. This means that CityLink bus services will be using an all-electric fleet by the end of the year.
Auckland Transport has initiated the Low Emission Bus Roadmap, whereby all new buses must be electric from 2045 and the entire fleet of 1360 buses must be fully electric by 2040. The 12 new buses are coming from Zhejiang CRRC Electric Vehicle Co Ltd (China Rail), but little information was provided by the city on the buses themselves.
Mayor Phil Goff said: “Black carbon is associated with health problems and has been found in Queen Street at levels higher than in some major European and US cities, so it’s a priority for us to address this issue.” Given that Auckland is a coastal city, this is indeed an alarming fact, likely exacerbated by the fact that Queen Street is highly frequented with buses. “Electrifying Auckland’s CityLink buses will help improve air quality by reducing pollution from black carbon and nitrogen oxide emitted by the current diesel vehicles,” the Auckland mayor continued.
In September last year, Auckland Transport ordered two ‘extra-large’ electric buses from Chinese giants Yutong and six BYD electric buses, as well as the city’s first fuel cell bus that will be made in New Zealand. As part of this project, the New Zealand city 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.
New Zealand has made headlines in lowing carbon emissions recently. Late last year the antipodean country made global headlines when the Ardern government made a law setting the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The small country with only around 4.7 inhabitants is also banking on innovation in transport: This month we reported that this country in the southern hemisphere will be home to passenger trials in Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) autonomous electric aircraft with Wisk.
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