Matamata’s Hobbiton is part of a successful drive to bring the first 100 percent electric tour coach to New Zealand roads.
The tourist operator was part of the successful joint application with Mount Maunganui’s Shore Trips and Tours and Rotorua’s Te Puia in the recent fourth round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, which is overseen by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.
It sees $134,250 (a 50 percent contribution) awarded to assist in the purchase of a 25-30 seat 100 percent electric tour coach and three charging stations – to be installed at Shore Trips and Tours’ new depot in Mount Maunganui, Hobbiton and Rotorua’s Te Puia.
The coach will become operational early next year. The six on-board battery packs will offer a driving range of 170-190km.
Hobbiton Movie Set Tours’ general manager Russell Alexander says that making the switch to sustainable vehicles is something many operators are exploring right across the industry.
“I’m excited about this. I think the industry is aware of the footprint and wants to do its bit to help reduce this.
“This can only mean good things for the industry.”