E-bus testing on Dunedin’s tricky terrain

An electric bus will be tested on Dunedin’s terrain and could herald the introduction of an electric fleet.

The GBV Enviroline 35-seater e-bus will join the Orbus Dunedin fleet for a month-long trial from September 28.

Drivers will have some training this weekend and Go Bus Dunedin depot manager Dave Gordon said the main difference for everyone to get used to was how quiet the vehicle was, compared with its diesel-fuelled counterparts.

Otago Regional Council transport manager Garry Maloney said the trial was a chance to see an electric bus take on Dunedin’s hills.

"We’re really looking forward to giving an e-bus a run around a few Dunedin routes and seeing how it performs.

"The four routes that are planned for the trial will take the e-bus around a good variety of terrains and travel durations.

Preparing to test an electric bus on Dunedin’s hills are (from left) project manager Abbey...
Preparing to test an electric bus on Dunedin’s hills are (from left) project manager Abbey Chamberlain, Otago Regional Council transport manager Garry Maloney and Go Bus Dunedin depot manager Dave Gordon. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
"The aim is to get a sense of how an e-bus can handle the different hills, routes and the motorway in Dunedin, and how we might need to factor charging time into route planning."

Central government policy requires fossil-fuelled buses to be replaced by 2035.

"This electric bus trial will bring Orbus a step closer to reducing Otago’s transport emissions and making the bus an even more environmentally friendly mode of transport," Mr Maloney said.

Go Bus Transport chief executive Calum Haslop said Go Bus was proud to support the e-bus trial.

Dunedin passengers would have a chance to experience the "smoother, quieter, electric future of public transport".

"I know there are a few drivers who are keen to get behind the wheel and I’m sure passengers will share their excitement once the trial kicks off in a week’s time."

The electric bus was manufactured by Global Bus Ventures of Rolleston, Christchurch, formerly known as Designline.

Electric buses last operated in Dunedin from 1950 to 1982, but they were powered by overhead wires.

grant.miller@odt.co.nz

Comments

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Only took 50 years to bring back electric.
Will there be a tiger tea one

An electric bus - I don't think I have been so excited in my life before. I can't wait to not get on it. How much money do they think ratepayers have?

Go on, try a new experience. It only costs 2 bucks and you might like it!

Trolley bus, come back, all is forgiven.

Great to see it is NZ made.
I understand that there is a company in Silverdale that is also making E-Busses.
What I liked about the model I saw, was the level walkway and easy access.

So before this vehicle even gets on the road we have the excuses beginning as to why it will fail. Routes or times may / will need to change to accomodate recharge times due to the extra power use on Dunedins hills.

Instead of buying vehicles that are suited to flat place use, how about waiting until something that is fit for purpose is available. But no, that wouldn't be in line with greens need to adapt us to match greens aims. Just plain waste of money for ideological aims.
Or buy the thing and admit it can only ever be used on St Clair / St Kilda runs. Maybe to Normanby at a pinch.

How many AAA batteries does it take, and how long do they last ??

It depends on whether they are cheapo packs or top of the range.

As rate payers, we're well versed in paying top of the range prices for cheapo results.

Well, for a start, its too big. Why do we need such big buses? The only time we see a full bus is when the cruise ships are in! The current behemoths struggle to get around tight bends and round-abouts and are a pain in the inner city. Smaller buses would use less power and would negotiate the steeper hills more favourably.

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