Media release

Electric bus trial starts in Dunedin

Tuesday 28 September 2021

The month-long trial using an electric bus (e-Bus) kicked off with a launch event at the Bus Hub on Tuesday morning.

From today until 29 October the electric bus will be part of the diesel-powered Orbus fleet.

The Enviroline 35-seater, manufactured in New Zealand by Global Bus Ventures, will rotate around select routes, including the #8 (St Clair to Normanby), #44 (St Kilda to Halfway Bush), #55 (St Kilda to Brockville), and the #77 (Mosgiel to City).

The trial kicked off this morning with an event featuring representatives from the Otago Regional Council, Go Bus Transport, and Global Bus Ventures.

ORC Chair of the Otago Regional Transport Committee Cr Alexa Forbes said the trial comes as the council considers its carbon emission responsibilities.


ORC Chair of the Otago Regional Transport Committee Cr Alexa Forbes.

ORC Chair of the Otago Regional Transport Committee Cr Alexa Forbes speaks to a crowd about the e-Bus.


“Private transport is a major source of emissions and we need our buses to be efficient as well as convenient, inexpensive and reliable. While the best way for us to reduce private transport emissions is to get more people riding the buses, it’s also important to ensure the fleet itself is modern and clean. I do hope the electric bus goes some way to encouraging people to get their Bee Cards and go by bus.”

Go Bus Transport Chief Operating Officer Nigel Piper said the trial would make an exciting addition to the Dunedin bus fleet.

“We’re really pleased to be able to bring this e-bus to the city and add a bit of extra excitement and novelty to Dunedin bus transport. Electric buses make for smoother, quieter travel and they are the way of the future. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the feasibility trial goes and hearing what Dunedin Orbus passengers think of the e-bus.”

Mike Parker, Executive Vice President at Global Bus Ventures said the Enviroline e-bus was significantly better for the environment than standard diesel buses.

“We are proud to be able to provide ORC a New Zealand designed and manufactured electric bus to trial in Dunedin. Electric buses are a key part of the decarbonising of the transport sector, as they offer a zero-emission solution and take advantage of the high level of renewable electricity generated in New Zealand.

“Electric buses are ideal for city travel as the offer quiet smooth acceleration and thrive on the start-stop conditions where they use regenerative braking to recover the kinetic energy and put it back into the batteries, making then more efficient.”

The e-Bus will be at the Otago Museum between 8-11 October as part of the Museum’s school holiday programme. School students will be able to learn about electric buses, carbon emission and climate change, and take a short ride on the e-Bus.

ORC will be running a competition on social media throughout the e-bus trial to encourage people to look out for the bus and learn more about its benefits for the environment. Keep an eye on the Orbus Dunedin Facebook page for more details.

As part of the trial, ORC will also be collecting feedback from passengers so we can learn about their experience riding an e-Bus, their thoughts about e-Buses in general, and how climate change impacts their decision to use public transport.

Central government policy requires all fossil-fuelled buses to be replaced by 2035, with no new fossil-fuelled buses to be introduced from 2025.

Dunedin e-Bus with passengers.