NZGIF is providing a $20 million finance facility to support Zenobē with the deployment of electric bus (E-Bus) fleets under long-term lease agreements with major operators in New Zealand.
A further $30 million is being held in reserve to support additional uptake, which NZGIF hopes sends a strong signal to the public transport sector that commercial, zero emission solutions will be more accessible.
The deal is designed to smooth the transition from combustion engine (ICE) to E-Buses for operators, removing technological and financing risk through competitive pricing.
NZGIF Chief Executive Officer Craig Weise says he is pleased that NZGIF is enabling another first for the New Zealand market.
“This deal brings Zenobē’s expertise in fleet electrification and putting together bespoke funding structures to New Zealand. The flexible rental contracts enable operators to take the time to understand the operational changes required as they transition to battery electric vehicles. This allows them to adapt and/or grow, minimising the usual level of risk.
We are pleased with this deal for a number of reasons but particularly so as it is in the transport sector, which accounts for 21% of New Zealand’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and is the fastest growing source of emissions,” Weise said.
New Zealand’s public transport bus fleet currently produces an estimated 155,000 tonnes of CO2-e per annum and the government has a target to decarbonise the public bus fleet by 2035.
It is estimated that fewer than 5% of the 2,600 public buses in operation in New Zealand are electric.
Zenobē offers end-to-end fleet electrification solutions, from planning and power procurement, to vehicles, charging infrastructure and award-winning software. It has a proven track record in the United Kingdom, with around 25% share of the E-Bus market and is delivering Australia’s largest electrified depot pilot. With circa 540 buses now contracted globally, Zenobē is taking its knowledge and experience to expand into New Zealand.
Zenobē Co-Founder and Director, Steven Meersman said that transport operators across the globe are realising the benefits of leasing batteries and outsourcing electrification to speed up and simplify delivery of zero emission transport.
“We’re delighted to be able to work with NZGIF to bring this E-Bus rental facility to New Zealand as we continue to see a shift to more sustainable transport solutions at the foundation of achieving net zero.
“Through our work with major clients such as National Express, Stagecoach and Transit Systems, we have established ourselves as a reliable industry partner in making battery and fleet electrification services a reality.
“With our experience, capabilities, and award-winning software, we can lead our customers on the pathway to zero emission transport at a rapid pace, with complete solutions from infrastructure installation, to financing and battery replacement. This means that operators can build a bespoke electrification solution based on their specific needs”, Meersman said.
The first assets to be financed will be a fleet of 18 E-Buses, leased to one of New Zealand’s largest bus operators, Go Bus Transport Limited (Go Bus).
“As the leading passenger transport company in New Zealand, Go Bus has been at the forefront of electric bus development in the country with EV operations in both Auckland and Christchurch. With a total 34 battery electric buses in operation currently, and a further 16 to be ordered shortly, we place high value in suppliers who reduce the barriers and risks as we move through our transition to zero-emission buses.” Calum Haslop, Kinetic Head of NZ and Go Bus CEO says.
“Our thanks go to Zenobē and NZGIF for the important part they played in our acquisition of 18 more E- Buses for Christchurch.”
Zenobē Country Director for Australia and New Zealand, Gareth Ridge said that the company is also in talks with a second major operator.
“What’s particularly exciting about this announcement is that the facility we have agreed with NZGIF has the capacity to switch roughly 40 buses to electric. This initial project showcases just one element in our turnkey offering that de-risks and expedites the E-bus transition for fleet operators in New Zealand.”
“With further capacity in the facility, we welcome conversations with operators of all sizes in New Zealand looking to reach their decarbonisation objectives and trial electric buses” he added.
Craig Weise says that NZGIF expects many operators will be looking at commercially competitive ways to achieve the 2035 decarbonisation goal.
“The government has already announced that by 2025 it will only allow zero-emission public transport buses to be acquired. Those targets are approaching, and I know many operators will be looking at how to achieve that. NZGIF has the flexibility with terms and tenor to provide competitive and attractive finance options, and now we have the expertise from an experienced partner in Zenobē.
We can help make the journey easier and welcome new partners into this facility, so come and talk to either Zenobē or ourselves for more information,” Weise said.
– ENDS –
Notes to media:
For more information, contact:
Daniel Riordan-Edmonds | Communications | NZGIF
Mobile: 021 942 130
Gareth Ridge | Country Director Australia and New Zealand | Zenobē
More about New Zealand Green Investment Finance
New Zealand Green Investment Finance is a green investment bank established by the New Zealand Government to accelerate investment that supports New Zealand’s low carbon future.
With a broad and flexible mandate, NZGIF’s investments can take many forms, from debt to equity, with the ability to take risk positions that help to attract co-investors.
NZGIF investments are made on a commercial basis, and it does not offer grants, subsidies or concessionary terms.
As a limited liability company independent of government, NZGIF makes its own investment decisions, informed by a Board and team with expertise in investment, financial markets and sustainability.
NZGIF is not a registered bank.
More about Zenobē
Zenobē is an international EV fleet and battery storage specialist, headquartered in the UK with operations in Europe and Australasia. It has c.235 MW of contracted storage assets and 1GW in development, around 25% market share of the UK EV bus sector and c.540 electric vehicles contracted globally. The company is the largest owner and operator of EV buses in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Zenobē’s fleet solution is driving the adoption of electric vehicles and reducing emissions from the transport and logistics sectors. Its ETaaS (Electric Transport-as-a-Service) solution provides fleet operators and local authorities with a full solution for a pay-per-month fee including charging infrastructure, battery replacement and award-winning software. The company’s pioneering battery storage offering enables power grid operators to provide clean, secure and affordable power, accelerating the global transition to Net Zero energy systems. Zenobē is also a leader in repurposing EV batteries after their first life, providing incremental power solutions to large business and the film and events industries.
For more information, please visit www.zenobe.com/nz
More about Go-Bus Transport Limited
Go Bus is New Zealand’s leading passenger transport business operating 2,000+ vehicles from 38 depots, stretching between Auckland in the north of the North Island to Invercargill in the south of the South Island.
Go Bus offers the full spectrum of bus services, including urban, charter, special needs transport, health, private transfer and school services. Johnston’s Coachlines is our luxury charter brand offering both charter services & airline aircrew transfer services nationwide.
From trials of hybrid buses in 2018, through to our significant electric operations of today, Go Bus is working with our customers toward fulfilling our shared vision of a zero-emission future.
Get the latest insights on how energy and transport sectors are moving to net zero.