Media release

Significant impact on emissions expected with new electric buses

Wednesday 7 February 2024

The first of a fleet of electric buses (e-buses) will appear on Dunedin’s streets in February 2024.

ORC Public and Active Transport Committee co-chair Andrew Noone says “This is a significant investment in our environment as well as in public transport.


We’re introducing 11 electric buses this month. Combined, they will reduce fuel consumption by nearly 240, 000 litres of diesel a year.

“Not only will this help improve air quality in Dunedin – it’s a significant contribution towards the city’s 2030 zero carbon goals.

“For instance, nearly 648,000 km of the 4.5 million km travelled by our buses on the road each year will now be zero emissions,” says Cr Noone.

 An e-bus trial in 2021 tested the buses on Dunedin’s public transport routes, including hills, the city centre and motorways. It found that the buses performed well on the hills. 

“We hope passengers will enjoy riding these new electric buses, which are quieter than diesel and have advanced safety and other technology, including an on-board fire suppression system.

“No worries either in Dunedin winters, as the new buses operate well in cold weather and start in sub-zero temperatures,” says Cr Noone.

 Six e-bus chargers are in place at Ritchies bus depot. Drivers have been trained on the new vehicles and the buses are being set up to allow them to operate Bee Card.

 The bus fleets in both Dunedin and Queenstown will be shifting over to electric over the next four years as e-buses are added.


  Details in short:

  • Contributing to zero carbon goals:
    • 648,000 km of the 4.5 million km travelled by Orbus fleet on the road each year will now be zero emissions.
    • Combined, the e-buses will reduce fuel consumption by nearly 240,000 litres of diesel a year.
  • The first eleven buses are destined for Unit 3 service and are expected to start running in February 2024. 
  • Unit 3 routes include: Ridge Runner – 15 (Ridgerunner), and 10 / 11 (Shiel Hill - Opoho), and 5/6 (Pine Hill – Calton Hill).
  • A further eleven e-buses will go into service on Unit 5 from mid-2025.
  • Unit 5 routes include: 70 (Brighton – Abbotsford and Green Island), 77 (Mosgiel, Fairfield, Green Island to City), 78 (Mosgiel to City Express), 80 (Mosgiel East Circuit), 81 (Mosgiel West Circuit)
  • The buses are set up to use Bee Cards.