The first electric buses in New Zealand happen to be 82-seat double-deckers.

Dutch company Heliox announced that this summer it will deliver to Tranzit eight DC chargers for the launch of the fleet in the capital city of Wellington. Two of those chargers are to be 450 kW ultra-fast chargers for roof-mounted pantographs.

The other chargers will be five DC 2x30kW Twin Chargers and one DC 25kW Mobile Charger with a plug-in option for ultimate flexibility in the workshop.

Read Also - Heliox Launches Europe’s Largest Opportunity & Depot Charging For Buses

New Zealand is just beginning its bus electrification. In 2020, 10 more double-decker electric buses will be deployed, and in 2021 another 12.

New Zealand

New Zealand

"This project is significant as it is the first fully electric bus fleet in New Zealand. Heliox, as the global market leader in fast charging electric buses, is proud to provide the fast charging network that combines both depot and opportunity charging to Tranzit and the city of Wellington. Heliox has delivered an innovative aspect to Tranzit’s charge network by combining the CCS plug-in system for the depot charging and a roof-mounted pantograph system in route to charge the double-decks. This project is a great example of the strength of open interfaces shown by the open source OCPP back-office communication of all chargers in the network combining data of both the infrastructure and the EV bus fleet."

"Heliox fast charging infrastructure will initially cover 9 bus routes across the Wellington region, which run between the suburbs of Island Bay and Churton Park. The 82-seat double-deckers will be fully charged overnight at the depot using the Heliox Fast DC 2x30kW twin chargers, while topping up their batteries during the day using Heliox OC 450kW opportunity chargers at charging stations in route across the network. This type of fast charging ensures maximum availability as the charging takes place while passengers board and disembark the bus.

Heliox’s OC 450 kW charger can recharge a battery in 2-5 minutes. These chargers are compatible with the roof-mounted system, an interoperable and open interface. This reliable and robust system uses a pantograph mounted on the bus, including remote management that ensures high uptime throughout the operation. A key advantage of the Heliox Fast Charging system is that Heliox’s fast chargers are compatible with any other brand and models of electric buses that use opportunity charging. This also helps to further accelerate the uptake of additional electric buses in the future.

This project is one of the first steps of all-electric bus fleets in NZ and essentially using larger-capacity vehicles together with a more efficient scheduling could enable 400 electric buses to do the work of the current fleet. Consequently, congestion will be reduced, especially in the city center that make journey times faster and more reliable."

"The city of Wellington has emphasized the relevance of electrifying its bus fleet, which would comply with the latest Euro VI emission standards by mid-2018. Additionally, the city of Wellington has made a commitment that the first electric double-deckers will be joined by another 10 in 2020 and another 12 in 2021.Along with the new buses, the city will be able to apply a single ticketing system for travel that benefits the commuters with simplified travel fares on buses."

Keven Snelgrove, Transport and Operations Director for Tranzit Group:

“We’re excited to be the first users in the Southern Hemisphere of fast charge technology. Heliox have been professional partner to date, their experience and proven robust charging infrastructure was a key factor in our decision-making process. The charging stations are very discreet and will be placed strategically on our routes for greater range around Wellington. We’re delighted that Wellington are investigating into New Zealand’s first fully-electric bus fleet.”

Bob Bouhuijs, director Automotive at Heliox:

“This project is great example how Heliox’s open technology supports bus operations with different suppliers all over the world. We are excited to provide our chargers to the very first full electric double decker buses in Wellington, New Zealand and believe our robust and reliable solution that enable the usage of roof-mounted system, will deliver maximum availability and increased uptime to the EV fleet. We are proud to partner with Tranzit and introduce the charge network for double-deck buses as the newest innovation in the market."