Britain runs 4.44 billion local bus journeys every year, what could be better than exporting this popular service overseas in to a different market?
UK bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis (ADL) has teamed up with Chinese battery supplier BYD and secured an overseas export of electric buses to New Zealand.
Red Bus, the New Zealand based bus operator have ordered three Enviro200EV battery buses from the collaboration between ADL and BYD.
Jaqueline Anderson, marketing director for Alexander Dennis said exclusively to The Manufacturer: “At ADL, we have a flexible manufacturing model which allows us to develop a solution which meets individual markets’ needs in terms of product specification, location and timing, thanks to our sites in various locations around the world.”
The vehicles have been Britain’s best-selling electric bus since their introduction in 2016, with 180 either in service or on order.
Due to be delivered in March next year, the vehicles will be used for Route 29, which connects New Zealand’s Christchurch Airport with the city centre.
ADL offer the widest range of low and zero emission buses on the market. Anderson commented: “One size doesn’t fit all, so this level of flexibility allows us to tailor our offering to suit our customers’ operational demands. We partner with technology solution providers who complement our own core competencies.”
As entering new export markets becomes increasingly a priority for UK manufacturers, partnerships overseas and exploring potential contracts has become essential.
Anderson said on the importance of exports for ADL: “Our international revenues have grown to form almost 50% of our annual revenue, and we have expanded from our domestic UK bedrock to Hong Kong, the wider Asia Pacific region and North America.”
She added on future export plans: “New market penetration includes Mexico and Switzerland, with our high capacity 3 axle double deck (Enviro500) which competes with articulated buses on certain routes. These markets will be served by our international manufacturing hubs.”
Red Bus will also use data to track the buses’ performance through a real-time monitoring system, to ensure the buses are running to their capabilities.
The company intends to test the vehicles on other routes in the city, with a view to the possible introduction of battery buses elsewhere.
Tony Moore, ADL general manager New Zealand, said: “We look forward to supporting the vehicles through ADL’s established aftermarket organisation in New Zealand to make sure they will quickly demonstrate the full potential of this exciting new technology.”
The electric buses contract has been excellent in securing partnerships overseas, but this innovative service could also potentially be the future of sustainable transport.