Electric buses hit Tauranga streets

Bay of Plenty Regional Councillors in front of one of five new electric buses with chief executive Fiona McTavish, far right. Supplied photo.

State of the art electric buses have hit the streets of Tauranga.

Five are now operating on the NZ Bus run Bayhopper fleet, the first in New Zealand outside of a main metropolitan centre.

They’re part of Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s commitment to low carbon public transport.

Regional Council Chief Executive Fiona McTavish says transport emissions represent the largest emissions sector for Tauranga City.

“The buses are zero emission and because they are electric have reduced noise levels and provide a smoother ride for passengers and the driver."

NZ Bus CEO Barry Hinkley says the electric buses were designed by Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), the United Kingdom’s largest bus manufacturer, combining their bus technology and componentry with the BYD electric power train.

The buses were assembled at the ADL factory in Southern China and ADL is the company that built Auckland city’s first two electric commuter buses.

“It’s great to play a part in public transport history in Tauranga and our team is excited to be involved with this cutting edge technology,” says Barry.

“ADL have built more than 350 electric buses for use worldwide, with a similar model to the Tauranga buses being found on the streets of London.”

The five electric buses are based out of the Greerton depot where each one has a charging station. They predominantly service the HL, CL and CT Connector routes.

The up-front cost of an electric bus can be as much as twice the cost of a diesel equivalent but the operating costs are significantly lower.

Electric bus facts:

  • The buses can travel 200km on a single charge
  •   •  Each charger can deliver 80kwh which means a single bus can be charged in 3 hours

  •   •  Each bus will be recharged overnight

  •   •  The buses have a seated capacity of 34 adults and a total capacity of 55 adults

  •   •  A fully laden bus weights 16,000kg

  •   •  The expected battery life is 12 years

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Eric Bantona

Posted on 04-11-2019 14:53 | By

Have since seen other "EV buses" in TGA. They all seem to have a diesel filler. I know theres only 5 but i see an EV every morning at the Crossing.

Eric Bantona/Brendon 78

Posted on 04-11-2019 14:53 | By

I agree with Brendon 78 on this one. All the new electric buses (there are only 5) have a diesel filler at the rear on the drivers side

Brendon 78

Posted on 01-11-2019 19:11 | By Eric Bantona

Maybe, just maybe, you were behind a bus that wasn’t an EV? I don’t think the whole fleet is electric - thought there were only a few.

EV or Hybrid?

Posted on 01-11-2019 14:13 | By

I followed 1 of these this morning and saw a fuel filler on the side and exhaust hidden underneath. Doesn’t appear like a zero emission vehicle to me?


Posted on 31-10-2019 20:08 | By

Empty buses - why is it a problem? Are you serious? You do understand the concept of money? And the concept of user pays? Like with a car owner? Or do you think buses grow on trees? Maybe we should visit the chopper orchard and ferry people about in yellow choppers instead. No problem.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 30-10-2019 22:48 | By Eric Bantona

What planet do you live on where you think electric buses are worse than diesel buses? Solar panels (even though they are not zero emissions) are still a step in the right direction and better than the use of fossil fuels. The electric vehicle isn’t a “craze”. It’s technology that has been worked on for decades. Next will be hydrogen cells. No one should be against advancement of renewable energy and it’s application. And Peecee09 surely you should be thankful that the conversion to more energy efficient public transport is actually helping save ratepayers money (even if you do not agree with the frequency or capacity of the buses).

Virtue Signalling

Posted on 30-10-2019 20:32 | By

An estimated 35,000 children work in perilous conditions to extract cobalt from the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt is a key component of electric car batteries. Who cares though as long as a few greenie’s can feel good about themselves!

I do wonder...........

Posted on 30-10-2019 20:27 | By groutby many of the smiley BOP Regional Council faces will be on the photo when we find the whole thing is unnecessary and cost ratepayers so many $$....any?...however we look forward to a reduction in operational cost and hope this information will be made available to the ones actually paying for it....there does seem to be an insistence that these large buses are necessary and you WILL use them...doesn’t there....


Posted on 30-10-2019 17:07 | By Mommatum

Peecee09, your concern about empty buses has been expressed by countless others before you and the solution is simple. Use them even if only on occasion. Otherwise why is it a problem? After all the majority of cars on the road are almost empty as well with just one person per vehicle.

Too big

Posted on 30-10-2019 15:36 | By First Responder

Agree peecee09. Hugh buses, mostly empty, giving the tar seal a thrashing, blocking roads when 2 buses at a bus stop together. Get real, get some smaller buses, even if they are more frequent in rush hour

Not quite right

Posted on 30-10-2019 14:56 | By

ADL didnt build the first electric vehicles for Auckland. The first was built in Tauranga and road tested locally over the Xmas break 2017


Posted on 30-10-2019 13:57 | By

Great news, this puts Tauranga way out in front of what will soon become a massive transition. Tom Ranger - there is hardly any solar power in NZ and what there is is provably way, way lower emission than other sources. Most NZ electricity is existing hydro and geothermal. These buses will definitely lower emissions by a huge amount, plus it is accepted that particulate emissions from diesel vehicles like utes and buses kill people.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 30-10-2019 11:51 | By

Here we go again! Zero emmisions...? How is the electricity produced? Solar energy requires resources which are often and predominantly mined. Hydro power floods land and produces nitrogen from the dying vegetation. The entire electric vehicle craze is, at the present moment Just a marketing ploy.


Posted on 30-10-2019 11:50 | By peecee09

I can not believe the huge waste of energy that is occurring every day by Regional Council persevering with those huge buses running around Tauranga every day virtually empty. Apart from rush hours of course. It is costing us the ratepayers a fortune. Buy some 12 seaters to use during off peak hours and save US some of our hard earned income.