Introducing Drive Electric member JW Group, a clear leader in Zero Emission commercial electric vehicle technology in New Zealand, and one of our largest electric bus providers.
The JW Group of companies is dedicated to a high standard of servicing, importing, and marketing electric and diesel buses for the New Zealand market. Yutong, their flagship brand, is the world’s largest bus manufacturer and a leader in R&D spending for quality, safety and the global transition to clean energy transport.
Their range of Yutong full electric urban bus models has expanded to serve the public in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, so far. Among several NZ firsts, JW Group has supplied electric luxury passenger coaches to a private operator for “business class” commutes into Auckland CBD and corporate or event travel.
Here, we discuss JW Group’s mission to contribute to the decarbonisation of our transport sector with GM Jo Crickett.
Tell us a bit about JW Group. What’s your role within the NZ transport sector?
“JW Group is founded in the past, with a view to the future. As heavy diesel specialists, we repair and service existing fleet on New Zealand’s roads. However, the supply side of our business pivoted about 3 years ago to accelerating the transition to zero emission commercial vehicles with extensive support for sales of Yutong and Geely electric vehicles.”
How have you seen the e-mobility industry as a whole evolve since JW Group has engaged with Zero Emission tech?
“We have seen Zero Emission commercial vehicles move from an expensive statement piece about company’s future commitments to low carbon transport, to reliable and cost effective workhorses that are becoming more and more mundane as a standard part of the fleet by the day. We like the latter!”
What would the future of heavy/commercial/public transport in New Zealand ideally look like to you?
“Unremarkable. Boring. Part of the furniture with increased reliability and affordability over fossil fuelled vehicles a given. That is the way we should all want Zero Emission vehicles to be viewed, not sparking uneducated debates about mineral mining, battery fires, job endangerment, competing fuel technologies and government decisions with every conversation. Mind you, we embrace the need for on-going external and internal education as early movers in the sector. We also expect to see an increase in clean energy transport employment opportunities. That’s one reason we support EVolocity”.
What do you think needs to happen to make electric buses more feasible in New Zealand?
“Appreciation and factoring in of costs past the initial buy price for quality gear. That’s part of the education journey in the EV markets. For example, over 150,000 Yutong electric buses produced to date are proven to reliably and safely perform for 20 years plus, with significantly reduced running costs, even considering charging infrastructure. That means if we use funding methods that defray the higher up front expense and provide support that de-risks the exercise, it’s a compelling move just to save money, aside from the environmental and public health benefits. That’s why JW Group was first to offer fully maintained operating leases for electric buses in New Zealand. We put heaps into proving the suitability of our product and support models”.
Do you have any exciting company developments coming up that you could tell us a bit about?
“Absolutely; I am totally pumped to announce to you that… oh wait… I can’t tell you about that yet.. you will have to wait and see!”
We are excited to see how JW Group changes the face of commercial and public transport in the coming years!