28 Jun 2019

Electric buses added to the Christchurch fleet

2:48 pm on 28 June 2019

Christchurch is getting its first electric buses in an first step to becoming carbon neutral.

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Photo: Supplied

Three Enviro200EV electric buses will be added to the Red Bus fleet from 1 July, and will travel the route from central Christchurch to the Airport on route 29.

Red Bus is a council-controlled trading organisation owned by Christchurch City Council The regional council operates the bus routes.

Red Bus chief executive Paul McNoe said the carbon footprint of the buses was 90 percent lower than the diesel alternatives.

He said transportation made up 53 percent of all emissions in Christchurch in 2017 and the electric buses were a significant first step on their journey towards a carbon-neutral future.

"We want to be a driving force, not a passenger in the fight against climate change."

Christchurch City Council resource efficiency manager Kevin Crutchley said the buses had no exhaust emissions, no engine noise and provided a smooth experience as there were no gear changes.

Canterbury Regional Council senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon said the buses were an opportunity to gain an essential understanding of how electric bus technology could work in the Christchurch environment, and how it would respond to the specific geography, climate, bus network and passenger usage.

"The learnings, experience and knowledge gained from these new buses operating on our network will help to shape future investment decisions," said Mr Gibbon.

The three new buses were purchased with funding support from the Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust and Environment Canterbury.

Red Bus is offering free rides on the new buses on Saturday 29 June from 1pm to 3pm at the Christchurch Bus Interchange.