Capital's Mayor Takes a Spin on Electric Wheels

30 May 2014

The Wellington business delegation to China led by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown hit the road when the Mayor took a spin in a new electric bus.

Mayor Celia-Wade Brown in an electric bus in China.

Mayor Celia-Wade Brown at the wheel in a new electric bus

Mayor Wade-Brown met with representatives from the BYD Company to investigate electric bus opportunities for Wellington City.

Public Transport is a hot topic in the Capital with a proposal by Greater Wellington Regional Council to retire the trolley bus fleet and cable network, as part of a comprehensive review of the bus network.

Mayor Wade-Brown said the visit confirmed her view that fully electric buses are a viable form of transport for Wellington.

“Many Wellingtonians are committed to reducing transport emissions - both greenhouse gases and particulates.

“I'd like to see 100 percent of our public transport become electric,” she said. “The Regional Council's timetable must be flexible enough so we can go forward with low emission, quiet buses on all our routes.

“Today’s meeting with BYD and my test-drive on an electric bus showed our delegation that this type of vehicle would be a viable, future for our bus fleet. The buses we saw could either be charged on their journey or have the batteries swapped in and out and charged at night. They meet European safety standards.”

BYD Company was established in 1995, and specialises in automobiles, new energy and IT. BYD is the largest supplier of rechargeable batteries in the world, and leads the field of electric vehicles with unique technologies. In January 2010 BYD’s pure electric bus K9 was successfully developed.

BYD now employs more than 150,000 employees and has 10 industrial parks throughout China. It also has offices in USA, Europe, Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other regions.

BYD entered the auto industry in 2003 with the purchasing of Xi’an Tsinchuan Auto Co. BYD’s auto products and services include fuel and electric vehicles as well as auto moulding and auto parts manufacturing.