Christchurch operator Red Bus will introduce New Zealand’s first fully-electric urban bus service early next year with three Enviro200EV single-deck battery buses ordered from Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL) The approximately 40-foot buses will be fully air-conditioned and will carry 60 passengers.
The electric buses, to be delivered by March 2019, will be used on direct route 29 between the city center and Christchurch Airport, which carries over 200,000 passengers per year. Their ability to run all day on the airport service without recharging allows them to fully replace three existing diesel buses.
Red Bus is interested in the potential for wider use of electric buses and will be testing the new buses on other routes — including those into Christchurch’s hill suburbs — once they have settled into service. The introduction of the buses is supported with funding from the Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust and regional council Environment Canterbury.
The Enviro200EV combines BYD’s state-of-the-art battery technology with ADL’s expertise in building lightweight, passenger-centric buses. It has been the UK’s best-selling electric bus since its introduction in 2016, with 180 in service or on order. The three Enviro200EV for Christchurch follow on from two similar vehicles that have been returning very positive operational results in Auckland since their introduction earlier this year.