19 March 2021

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Public Transport Committee has approved a feasibility study to scope the decarbonisation of the urban and regional bus fleet in the Bay of Plenty.

The local and urban fleet is made up of 166 buses, five of which are electric.

Committee chairman Andrew von Dadelszen says decarbonising the fleet is in line with recent government requirements and also aligns with the Regional Council’s climate change goals for the region.

“Late last year the government mandated that from 2025 onwards new buses will have to be zero emission, with the entire bus fleet in New Zealand to be zero emissions by 2035,” Cr von Dadelszen says.

“Depending on the feasibility study conclusions, Regional Council will need to decide whether to adopt a policy where all new contracts are operated with decarbonised buses starting in 2024. This, however will not preclude our Regional Council from consider including decarbonised buses within the current term of contracts.”

The government has committed $50 million to help councils across the country meet the new goals on time.

Cr von Dadelszen says when it comes to the feasibility study the first priority will be looking at the technology options and deciding which ones to pursue.

“We are very motivated to decarbonise the fleet, it would be a win-win for our rohe. Once a shortlist of decarbonised options has been established, the feasibility study will then use existing information to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the pros and cons of each,” he says.

He says at this early stage it’s not possible to accurately forecast the potential financial implications of any decision to decarbonise the entire bus fleet.

For further media information, please contact media@boprc.govt.nz