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London’s Zenobē launches electric bus fleet in New Zealand, gets $20M from NZGIF

Zenobē e-buses
Image credits: Zenobē

Zenobē just recently announced it has secured a $20M investment by the New Zealand Green Investment Finance in an effort to support the deployment of electric bus fleets with major operators in its country. This deal is purposed to assist in the smooth transition from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to e-buses for operators, removing technological and financing risk through competitive pricing and building on Zenobē’s strong track record overseas.

Partnered with the NZGIF, Zenobē’s go-to-market strategy features the deployment of e-bus fleets under long-term lease agreements with major operators in New Zealand. An additional $30M is being held in reserve to support additional uptake, which NZGIF hopes will send a strong statement to the public transport sector that commercial, zero-emission solutions will be more accessible.

Initially financed assets include a fleet of 18 e-buses, leased to Go Bus; one of New Zealand’s largest bus operators. Zenobē Country Director for Australia and New Zealand, Gareth Ridge added that the company is also in talks with a second major operator.

NZGIF CEO Craig Weise expressed his delight in NZGIF 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. With flexible rental contracts, operators can transition to battery electric vehicles, understand the operational changes required and then adapt and/or grow, minimising the usual level of risk.”

Making New Zealand greener

It is currently estimated that New Zealand’s present public transport bus fleet currently produces an estimated 155,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum. The Kiwi government has set out an ambitious target; to decarbonise the public bus fleet by 2035. Currently, it’s estimated that fewer than 5% of the 2,600 public buses in operation in New Zealand are electric.

“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,” added NZGIF’s Craig Weise.

The London-headquartered startup hopes to improve this statistic with its end-to-end fleet electrification solutions, which cover planning & power procurement to vehicles, charging infrastructure and award-winning software. The startup already has a proven track record in the UK, with around a 25% share of the e-bus market and Australia’s largest electrified depot pilot. With circa 540 buses now contracted globally, Zenobē is expanding with its knowledge and experience into New Zealand.

Zenobē Co-Founder and Director, Steven Meersman excited about expansion stated, “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. 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 bespoke electrification solutions based on their specific needs.”

Founded in 2017 by James Basden, Nicholas Beatty and Steven Meersman, Zenobē Energy (formerly known as Battery Energy Storage Solutions Ltd) is the largest independent owner and operator of battery storage in the UK. Serving major operators such as National Express, Stagecoach and Transit Systems, Zenobē has established itself as a reliable industry partner in making battery and fleet electrification services a reality.

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