Sustainable living  |  28 Jun 2019

The move to reduce Christchurch’s carbon footprint has stepped up a gear with bus company Red Bus introducing the city’s first electric buses to its fleet.

Red Bus, which is  100 per cent owned by Christchurch City Holdings Limited, the investment arm of Christchurch City Council, will use the electric buses on its busy city to Airport route from Monday.

Red Bus launches electric buses.

Red Bus launched its first electric buses today. Driver Abdul Fazlim took Councillor Pauline Cotter and Red Bus Chief Executive Paul McNoe for a ride.

“We want to be a driving force, not a passenger in the fight against climate change,” says Red Bus Chief Executive Paul McNoe.

“In 2017 transportation made up 53 per cent of all Christchurch emissions. These buses are a significant first step for Christchurch on our journey towards a carbon-neutral future. The carbon footprint of the new buses is 90 per cent lower than the diesel alternative,” says Mr McNoe.

The three new Alexander Dennis Ltd Enviro200EV buses were bought with funding support from the Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust and Environment Canterbury.

“We are excited to be part of the introduction of electric bus technology in Christchurch,’’ says Environment Canterbury Senior Manager Public Transport Stewart Gibbon.

“This is an opportunity to gain an essential understanding of how electric bus technology works in our environment – how it responds to our specific geography, climate, bus network and passenger usage.

“Improving the environmental footprint of the public transport network is a key focus for us, our partners, and the community. The learnings, experience and knowledge gained from these new buses operating on our network will help to shape future investment decisions,” Mr Gibbon says.

Christchurch City Council Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley says the battery electric buses have a number of benefits over diesel fueled buses.

“These battery electric buses have no exhaust emissions which is great for the environment and for the health of the public,” he says.

“No gear changes mean a more gentle, smooth experience. No engine noise means a more peaceful ride and streets where you can better hear yourself talk. These innovative buses have to be seen to be believed.’’

  • Red Bus will be offering free rides on the new electric buses on Saturday, 29 June at the Christchurch Bus Interchange between 1 and 3pm.