Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Christchurch buses are turning green

The streets of Greater Christchurch are a little quieter, and a lot greener, with 16 new electric buses rolling out onto local roads from this week.

The new vehicles join a further 28 electric vehicles added to the fleet in the last two years, which Environment Canterbury Chair, Peter Scott, believes has already impacted the city.

“Customers have loved telling us how much they enjoy riding on our new electric buses, finding them a smoother, quieter, more comfortable ride,” he said.

“We’ve heard from many cyclists and pedestrians as well, who enjoy the cleaner air when passing by one of these buses!”

Four-year-old Amelie (main photo), from Christchurch, officially launched the 16 new electric buses into Metro’s fleet earlier this week. Amelie has been obsessed with electric vehicles since her family bought an electric car last year. Metro’s customer service team helped answer all of Amelie’s questions about electric buses, and today, she joined Chair Scott as the official Metro ribbon-cutter.

Electric buses now make up 20% of Environment Canterbury’s Metro Urban fleet.

“In 2023, our electric fleet will reduce Metro’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO-2e) by an estimated 18% per cent, equivalent to nearly 2,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide saved annually, compared to a fully diesel fleet,” said Chair Scott.

“Likewise, the emissions reduction from these electric buses includes 16,000 kilograms of Nitrogen Oxide Emissions (NOx) and 140 kilograms of PM10 which is also a win for air quality*,” he said.

The remainder of the urban fleet will be gradually replaced in the coming years under Environment Canterbury’s commitment to having a fully zero-emissions fleet by 2035 at the latest.

In what could be considered the ultimate roadie, all 16 new electric vehicles have been marching their way down the country in convoy after their ship transport from Auckland became unavailable.

The vehicles will all join the Go Bus fleet in Christchurch. Go Bus Chief Executive, Calum Haslop said that the journey was an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the vehicle’s capabilities.

“These electric buses can do around 400 kilometres between charges, so the 1000-kilometre drive from Auckland took them two days, charging in the middle of the day at Taupo then overnight at Wellington,” he said.

“Our buses typically travel 300 kilometres a day on Metro’s network, so it’s clear that they are more than capable of completing a full day’s work.”

“It is incredibly exciting for us to support Environment Canterbury with the transition of Metro’s fleet to greener and cleaner technology, with every bus that goes into service replacing a diesel one having an immediate positive impact on the community, on the planet and on the experience for people who choose to travel with Metro every day,” said Mr Haslop.

*Sourced from data provided by Emission: Impossible Ltd, a New Zealand consultancy specialising in air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, and sustainable transport management.

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