Rubber hits the road for Metlink's expanding electric vehicle fleet

Sustainability & Technology

Metlink is on track to becoming the lowest carbon emissions network in the country, as a new tranche of 10 electric vehicles (EVs) started rolling out on the road this week.  

These are the first of the 98 new EVs that Metlink has committed to welcoming to its fleet over the coming years, on top of the 10 vehicles it already has, working towards a total 108 electric buses on the road by December 2023.  Planning for a fully decarbonised bus fleet by 2030 is already underway. 

Greater Wellington Transport Committee Chair, Councillor Roger Blakeley, says the new buses will be a pleasure to both ride and drive.  

“For our commuters, it will mean not only the comfort of riding in a beautiful, modern bus but also the comfort of knowing that your EV journey isn’t contributing to our carbon emissions. 

“For our drivers, we hope a state-of-the art movable workplace will make their jobs more enjoyable and will encourage others to explore driving as a career,” he says.  

More drivers than ever will be needed as Greater Wellington works towards its goal of a 40 per cent increase in the number of people using public transport and active modes of travel, like walking and biking, by 2030.  

The latest buses will be primarily put to use around Wellington City including route 2 (Karori – Wellington – Hataitai – Seatoun), and will progressively replace diesel buses.  

Councillor Blakeley says the buses are just one way Greater Wellington is delivering on a public transport network that is in-line with council’s goal of carbon positivity by 2035. 

“Transport is our biggest carbon emitter, with 54 per cent of Greater Wellington’s emissions coming from our bus fleet. We’ve honed in on this area as one where we can really make a difference.  

“When all 108 EVs are on the road, they will make up 22 per cent of Metlink’s bus fleet, shaving 17 per cent off of our total carbon emissions. 

“This move shows the real value of having a regional council, an environmental protection agency at its core, responsible for the region’s transport network,” adds Cr Blakeley.

Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher says the new buses will help establish Metlink as leaders in electric transportation.  

“Like our trains, we’re now looking at building an entirely electric fleet so it’s great to see these buses out on the road.  An in-harbour ferry will be next. 

“We’re creating a blueprint for other transport operators for building a modern and resilient fleet that’s fit for purpose for operating in a state of climate emergency,” says Mr Gallacher.