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Dunedin launches new electric bus fleet – Ritchies Transport

Ritchies Transport says the launch of Dunedin’s first zero emission buses on several routes from this month is a significant milestone not only for the city and its people, but also for New Zealand.

Ritchies CEO, Michele Kernahan, says the introduction of the first 11 electric fleet in the southern city shows the momentum that is building and the progress that’s being made across New Zealand, reducing carbon emissions in urban public transport.

“The first e-buses went into service less than 10 years ago and while bigger cities have been able to support a quicker transition, increasingly other regional areas are now making the move,” she said.

There are some real challenges for operators and public transport authorities, not only around procurement but also around logistics and the suitability of some existing depot sites for the infrastructure that’s required.

“Transport providers like the Otago Regional Council and others we work with are to be commended for their commitment to sustainable public transport at a time when their budgets are under pressure and they’re juggling competing demands for funding they receive,” Ms Kernahan said.

At a launch event in Dunedin this morning, she thanked the Regional Council for the opportunity to work with them and help deliver a more environmentally friendly public option for passengers in the city.

“We are incredibly proud to be supporting ORC and other public transport authorities to reduce carbon emissions. We fully understand our role as a transport partner. Regular, well-run bus services build confidence in the benefits of public transport. Every full bus means less cars on the road, and fewer carbon emissions in our communities.”

Dunedin’s new buses are Yutong E10’s which have advanced technology and safety features. They

have an estimated range of up to 300 km depending on environmental conditions and generally will complete a full day without needing to recharge. Bus schedules are designed to enable daytime ‘opportunity’ charging if required.

Ritchies Transport has established a dedicated charging site for Dunedin’s new electric buses. It includes a dedicated 750kVA site transformer from Aurora, feeding 6 twin gun 120kW charging stations.

Ritchies is progressively introducing cleaner and more comfortable vehicles to its fleet across the country in support of New Zealand’s climate change agenda. While public passenger transport is already more environmentally friendly than single car travel, electric buses are quieter, more efficient and create less pollution.


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