Dunedin's first e-Bus is here!

We are proud to test an electric bus (e-Bus) on our various bus routes in Dunedin from 28 September to 29 October 2021.

Dunedin e-bus trial

This is a joint project between Orbus and Go Bus Transport, one of Dunedin’s bus operators, as we partner together to learn more about the low-emission future of transport in Dunedin.

 

Through this trial, we are hoping to learn:  

    • How the e-Bus performs on Dunedin roads, including hills, longer routes and the motorway
    • About passenger experience on board the e-Bus

If you have any comments or questions about this e-Bus trial, please contact us at e-bus@orc.govt.nz 

To make sure your voice is heard, complete our survey here

To enter the competition that is running during the trial go to OrbusDN on Facebook or Instagram


Service schedule

We intend to operate our e-bus trial on the following routes during the week:

    • Mondays & Tuesdays on Route 8 (St Clair – Normanby)
    • Wednesday Afternoon on Route 77 (Mosgiel – City)
    • Thursday on Route 55 (St Kilda – Brockville)
    • Friday on Route 44 (St Kilda – Halfway Bush)
    • Weekends on Route 77 (Mosgiel – City)
    • The bus will also be stationed at Otago Museum from Friday 8 October to Monday 11 October for free tours. Find out more here.

 

Sometimes the planned routes might differ, and on some days the bus will be at events (like the Otago Museum) where it won’t operate as per the above.

Sometimes you might see the bus in other areas of town, operating not in service. This will be while we run our own trials around the city to learn more about how the bus operates around the Dunedin network.

 

The difference an e-bus makes

An e-Bus, short for electric bus, is a bus that is powered by electricity. Most e-Buses (including the one we’re trialling) use batteries to store electricity in the vehicle. With hydroelectric power stations generating most of New Zealand’s electricity, e-Buses are some of the most sustainable ways for us to travel. 

Using electricity instead of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emission, and helps reduce noise and air pollution. 

e-Buses are also great for city travel, because driving on city roads involves lots of accelerating and braking, which e-Buses are better at doing than diesel buses when it comes to energy. That is because e-Buses can recharge most of the kinetic energy back into batteries when they brake, increasing the efficiency and reducing the wear on the brake, which diesel buses cannot do.  

To find out more about how the ORC is committed to reducing carbon emissions, read the FAQs below. 

 

Frequently asked questions

An e-Bus, short for electric bus, is a bus that is powered by electricity. Most e-Buses (including the one we’re trialling) use batteries to store electricity in the vehicle. With hydroelectric power stations generating most of New Zealand’s electricity, e-Buses are some of the most sustainable ways for us to travel. 

What makes an e-Bus better?

e-Buses are great for city travel, because driving on city roads involves lots of accelerating and braking, which e-Buses are better at doing than diesel buses when it comes to energy. That is because e-Buses can recharge most of the kinetic energy back into batteries when they brake, increasing the efficiency and reducing the wear on the brake, which diesel buses cannot do.  

Using electricity instead of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emission, and helps reduce noise and air pollution. 

Find out how greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.

Here are some quick stats:

  • Over 90% reduction in CO2 emission*
  • Zero tail pipe emission (reduced inner city air pollution)
  • Significantly quieter
  • Smoother ride for both passengers and drivers
  • Lighter weight and smaller size, so more energy-efficient to drive and less damage to roads
  • Less materials needed to manufacture, meaning less carbon footprint
  • Body made of long-lasting alloy (reusable and recyclable)
  • Locally designed and manufactured in New Zealand

*in comparison to diesel buses.

An e-Bus is powered by electricity. Most e-Buses (including the one we’re trialling) use batteries to store electricity in the vehicle, versus running on diesel or petrol which are fossil fuels.

With hydroelectric power stations generating most of New Zealand’s electricity, e-Buses are some of the most sustainable ways for us to travel. 

Using electricity instead of fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emission, and helps reduce noise and air pollution. 

Find out how greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.

e-Buses are great for city travel, because driving on city roads involves lots of accelerating and braking, which e-Buses are better at doing than diesel buses when it comes to energy. That is because e-Buses can recharge most of the kinetic energy back into batteries when they brake, increasing the efficiency and reducing the wear on the brake, which diesel buses cannot do.  

Here are some quick stats:

  • Over 90% reduction in CO2 emission*
  • Zero tail pipe emission (reduced inner city air pollution)
  • Significantly quieter
  • Smoother ride for both passengers and drivers
  • Lighter weight and smaller size, so more energy-efficient to drive and less damage to roads
  • Less materials needed to manufacture, meaning less carbon footprint
  • Body made of long-lasting alloy (reusable and recyclable)
  • Locally designed and manufactured in New Zealand

*in comparison to diesel buses.

ORC is committed to reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality across Otago. The central government has announced that from 2025, no new fossil-fuelled buses can be introduced into service in New Zealand, and by 2035, all fossil-fuelled buses must be replaced. We are also exploring more environmentally sustainable types of vehicles with low carbon emissions.  

Transport was a major contributor to Otago's total emissions in 2019. But decarbonisation is not the only way to reduce emissions. Getting more people to use public transport more often right now will make a significant impact.

This e-Bus trial is one of the many steps we will take to achieve that future.

Read more: 

We intend to operate our e-bus trial on the following routes during the week:

  • Mondays & Tuesdays on Route 8 (St Clair – Normanby)
  • Wednesday Afternoon on Route 77 (Mosgiel – City)
  • Thursday on Route 55 (St Kilda – Brockville)
  • Friday on Route 44 (St Kilda – Halfway Bush)
  • Weekends on Route 77 (Mosgiel – City)

Please Note: sometimes the planned routes might differ, and on some days the bus will be at events (like the Otago Museum) where it won’t operate as per the above.

Sometimes you might see the bus in other areas of town, operating not in service. This will be while we run our own trials around the city to learn more about how the bus operates around the Dunedin network.

The chosen routes (8, 44, 55 and 77) will give us a lot of information on how the e-Bus performs on different types of routes. The bus operating on more number of routes could mean that we will have less time to test it on specific factors like hills, motorway, etc.

Yes, but tagging on will be slightly different than usual. During this trial, we are only installing the driver’s Bee Card machine so make sure to tag on and off with our friendly drivers.

We are testing a new e-Bus (Enviroline 35 seater) that has been built for Environment Canterbury. It was built in New Zealand by Global Bus Ventures (based in Rolleston, Canterbury).

The central government has introduced a requirement to move toward a zero-emissions fleet and ORC is committed to get there. However, the process for replacing the fleet will take some time so we can figure out the best solutions that are considerate of charging stations, number of vehicles required and other infrastructure.

Working in line with ORC strategic objectives, and the Government mandate for introducing a lower emission fleet, we will use some of the learnings of the trial to help understand how electric might play a part in our bus fleet moving forward. Any changes to the fleet will be made on a gradual basis, working with the bus operators across Otago to ensure sustainable charging infrastructure and operational requirements are met.

There may be opportunities through the contract renewal process, to provide for lower emission electric vehicles. This will tie in to the govt mandate for only zero-emission public transport buses to be purchased from 2025, targeting the decarbonisation of the national public transport bus fleet by 2035.

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