Auckland Transport and Ports of Auckland unveiled the country’s first hydrogen fuel cell bus today, which will run between Howick and Britomart.

The project received $250,000 in co-funding from the government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVCF), administered by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority). Three hydrogen fuel cell cars were included in the project, two of which are already in use.

Auckland Transport’s first fully electric bus was also co-funded by EECA, a project that has been replicated by public transport providers throughout the country, as the electric bus fleet has grown.

EECA CEO Andrew Caseley said, “Auckland Transport’s commitment to an emissions-free fleet by 2040 is excellent, and we’re pleased to be able to support them and Ports of Auckland in demonstrating new technology that will help them reach that goal.

“Electric buses have gone from a novelty just a few years ago to a common sight in our major centres. We’re pleased to support this new project that pushes at the innovative edge of heavy transport in New Zealand.

“While hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles are undergoing extensive trials in some overseas markets, they remain largely untested in New Zealand. The LEVCF’s purpose is to help remove some of the risks around trialling new technology in New Zealand, and to accelerate their uptake.

“As a demonstration vehicle, this bus will show what role hydrogen could play in the mix of low-emissions transport fuels in the future, as hydrogen and electric both have different purposes, and require different infrastructure. Getting the balance right is important.”

Mr Caseley noted that transport makes up around 20% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, and around 40% of Auckland’s, “and heavy transport has an outsized impact. While encouraging people to shift to more sustainable ways of getting around, like public transport, is good, we need to ensure those options are low-emissions.”

About the LEVCF:

The Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund offers up to $6.5 million a year to projects that will accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and other low emission vehicles.

Projects are co-funded with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns aren’t yet strong enough to justify full private investment.

Applicants for the tenth funding round have until Wednesday, 14 April 2021 to submit their proposals to EECA. For more information about the Fund, visit the link below or email the EECA team

Low Emission Transport fund

General information about EVs is available here(external link).