From left, Julian Ostling, Ngati Manuhiri’s Te Ao Rosieur and Delma Okane, Kylie Ryan from Mahu City Express, Transport Minister Michael Wood, and JW Group’s Jo Crickett and Wei Zhou at the new e-coach launch.
Transport Minister Michael Wood was among the guests at Sculptureum last month when Mahu City Express revealed its brand-new luxury electric coach.
The $600,000 40-seat vehicle was supposed to be on the road last winter, but Covid-19 lockdowns caused extensive delays.
Mahu City Express founder and director Julian Ostling said it had been a tough year, but funding support from government agency the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority and partnership with bus importer J W Group meant they were almost ready to go.
“Now we are just waiting for the charger to make it off the port, and we can look forward to providing our passengers with the ultimate experience – zero stress, zero emissions, luxury commuting,” he said.
As well as cutting emissions, the vehicle’s running costs will come in at around one fifth of an equivalent diesel bus.
Minister Wood said transport made up to 47 per cent of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions and it was critical that buses were cleaned up and de-carbonised.
“Mahu City Express is ahead of the pack and doing things first. That’s what it’s going to take, so I seriously take my hat off to you,” he said. “You’re not just a little business, you have a great, supportive community encouraging and supporting you to make this venture possible. I hope we see you grow and thrive, and that they come to your service in even greater numbers, because they recognise what you have done.”
The new e-coach was blessed by Te Ao Rosieur and Delma Okane, of Ngati Manuhiri.