Auckland Transport’s CityLINK buses carry over 1.6 million passengers each year. While electric bus charging is still an emerging industry in New Zealand, the launch of 12 new electric CityLINK buses by NZ Bus has signalled a major stepping stone in Auckland’s transition to electric transport.

The bus improvements are part of Auckland’s Low Emission Bus Roadmap. The entire fleet of 1,360 buses must be fully electric by 2040. When Auckland’s electric transition is complete, around 93,000 tonnes of CO2 will no longer enter the atmosphere every year.

Due to the project’s high profile, Auckland Council held an opening ceremony in the last weekend of April.

Electrix was engaged to design and build a solution to install the charging stations for the new buses with a fixed deadline. This has helped the city start its transition to a fully electric public transport service.

While it is not uncommon to have tight timeframes at the closing stages of any construction project, the collaboration that came from Electrix teams both in designing and building aspects of the project helped make for a smooth and efficient delivery, and ensured the project was handed over seamlessly and on schedule.

“When you have that synergy between the design and build, there’s opportunity to deliver a better product, cost-savings and value engineering” said Rafael Nazareth, Project Manager at Electrix.

Electrix’s experts provided the design solution, including all the electrical and civil works for the charging pads, and assisted with the commissioning.

In the delivery stage of the project, Electrix completed all the electrical installation work. This included cabling and containment, placing chargers and pedestals, installing lampposts at the bus depot, wiring all the feeds from the transformer to the switchboard to the chargers, AC and DC feeding, and setting up the communications systems. Electrix engaged with a civil contractor to complete the civil works.

The CityLINK bus depot now holds four chargers, each of which has three charging hoses, making the depot capable of charging all 12 electric buses at once.

It is the second electrical bus charger design project Electrix has successfully completed. The first was for GoBus, which involved designing the electrical installation for the chargers at their Mangere depot.