Red Bus celebrates city’s first electric bus service

Red Bus EV Tuam Street crop

Bus travel from central Christchurch to the Airport on route 29 will be 100% exhaust emissions free from July 1 with Red Bus introducing the city’s first electric buses to its fleet.

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

“In 2017 transportation made up 53% 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% lower than the diesel alternative.” says McNoe.

The three new Alexander Dennis Ltd Enviro200EV buses were purchased 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. 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,” says Environment Canterbury senior manager public transport Stewart Gibbon.

“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,” he said.

Christchurch City Council resource efficiency manager, Kevin Crutchley, explains the benefits of electric buses over diesel. “These battery electric buses have no exhaust emissions which is great for the environment and for the health of the public,”

“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” he says.

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