New Zealand’s first fully electric bus depot unveiled

Posted: 27 January 2023 | | No comments yet

The new electric bus depot in Panmure will reduce burden on the grid whilst improving the environmental impact of Auckland’s electric bus fleet.

New Zealand electric bus depot

Credit: Kinetic

Australasian bus operator Kinetic is helping Auckland Transport (AT) to power ahead with its plans to decarbonise urban buses after unveiling New Zealand’s first fully electric bus depot in Panmure, East Auckland, on 25 January 2023.

The NZ Bus depot has the latest technology to reduce burden on the grid and improve the environmental impact of Auckland’s electric bus fleet – all without putting Auckland’s energy supply at risk. 

The depot is home to 35 electric buses – each one charged up overnight, via their own individual direct current charger. They are part of a total order of 152 e-buses that were agreed between Auckland Transport and Kinetic’s NZ Bus in November 2021.

The Panmure site marks Kinetic’s fifth electric bus depot in New Zealand and its second fully dedicated electric bus depot across Australasia after unveiling an all-electric bus depot powered by 100 per cent renewable energy on the Gold Coast, Australia, in 2022.

Kinetic’s Go Bus launches 16 new electric buses in Canterbury, New Zealand

Auckland Transport’s Interim Chief Executive, Mark Lambert, said that this is a significant step forward in implementing the Low Emission Bus Roadmap to decarbonise Auckland’s public transport: “It aligns with the government’s 2035 mandate for the full decarbonisation of urban buses in New Zealand. These buses are the first tranche of electric buses, with more coming over the next two years. Its been exciting to witness the transition to electric buses recently, and we know that our customers are enjoying the cleaner, quieter travel.”

“This new technology manages when and how much each bus is charged – which is very important for load management on the Vector network and, of course, using off-peak energy prices,” he added.

Calum Haslop, NZ Bus’s CEO and Head of Kinetic in New Zealand, said that it has been through the hard work of multiple parties that the launch was made possible: “Today’s unveiling of this all-electric depot has been the result of NZ Bus, Auckland Transport, Vector, CRRC, EVISI, DGE and WSP all working together. What we are now operating is a cutting-edge approach to the efficient supply of battery electric zero-emission buses for Auckland. Kinetic is proud to have built and be operating this depot, which is Australasia’s largest all-electric bus operation.”

In New Zealand, Kinetic owns Go Bus and NZ Bus, operating urban bus services across Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill, as well as school bus services nationally under contract with the Ministry of Education.  

Through partnerships with leading councils, Kinetic is growing New Zealand’s greenest bus network with more than 150 zero-emission buses on the road across its operations.

Kinetic‘s CO-CEO, Michael Sewards, said that Kinetic was committed to continued investment in zero-emission vehicles, converting depots and establishing infrastructure to support New Zealand’s strategy to decarbonise public transport: “We will continue partnering with local and federal governments to help meet their climate reduction targets, as well as our own, to achieve 100 per cent net zero by 2035. Today is an exciting milestone in that journey, and I congratulate everyone involved.”