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Altro and Kiwi Bus Builders, NZ

Kiwi Bus Builders

Kiwi Bus Builders (KBB) are the biggest bus manufacturer in New Zealand, producing buses for customers around the world from their base in Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty since 1993. KBB’s support their philosophy, to always to build you a better bus, by working closely in partnership with their customers and by choosing the best quality components. As a testament to their high quality work, some of their original buses are still in service today!

Fleet for Greater Wellington Regional Council, operated by Metlink

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) awarded KBB the contract to manufacture a new fleet of 31 lightweight double-deck electric buses, to be operated by Metlink. In order to ensure that the public transportation industry meets New Zealand’s pledge to eliminate fossil fuels from public transport service by 2035, KBB were looking for new ways to reduce vehicle weight to improve efficiency without compromising on the durability or longevity of the bus build.

Altro products as solutions

In order to help them achieve their goals, KBB turned to Altro. With both companies driven to create durable, high performance solutions for the bus industry, this partnership, cultivated over five years of collaboration, has proven to be an incredibly successful one.

Altro Transflor Chroma EV

KBB chose Altro Transflor Chroma EV for the flooring of these new electric buses. Specially developed to be lightweight, durable, and easy to clean, Altro Transflor Chroma EV is perfect for use on electric vehicles. In service in the city of Wellington, these double deck buses will see high footfall and need to be able to stand up to heavy duty usage. The unique construction of Altro Transflor Chroma EV means that it achieves PTV ≥36 slip resistance whilst still being easy to clean, so that Metlink are able to keep their passengers protected and their buses looking good.

Altro custom colour service

Part of the contract for the GWRC included being able to provide flooring in GWRC’s brand colours, and KBB achieved this with the use of Altro’s custom colour service. Extra to the colours on the sample card, Altro can manufacture any of our flooring products in your choice of custom colours, finishes or even chip patterns. KBB utilised a Midnight-based colour with blue and yellow chips for the main areas of the bus, and a contrasting Fog-based colour with the same chips for highlighted areas such as the wheelchair and pushchair areas. The result is a sleek, inviting and practical interior bus design, which is sure to give passengers a warm welcome.

Altro Self-adhesive service

The New Zealand government have pledged to eliminate fossil fuels from public transport services by 2035, and so to support this, KBB are leading the way in making electric vehicles the norm. They made the choice to use Altro’s self-adhesive service instead of traditional adhesives, which allowed KBB to save an extra 60% adhesive weight per square metre. The benefits with Altro’s self-adhesive service don’t stop there, either: minimal VOC-emissions means a cleaner, safer work environment for bus builders, and the peel-and-stick nature of the self-adhesive transport floors completely eliminates time spent preparing, applying and curing traditional adhesives, making installation far more cost effective. Altro’s self-adhesive service makes installation so much simpler that KBB’s fitters now prefer this method to a traditional installation with manual adhesive application.

“The task times associated with flooring are significantly reduced, speeding up overall vehicle assembly and there are none of the fumes and odours normally associated with traditional adhesives,” said Viv Cooney, of KBB’s Engineering and Technical Department. “As the health and safety of all our team is of paramount concern, the lack of VOCs creates a much healthier environment for everyone – both at KBB, and ultimately the passengers using the vehicle.”

Altro and Kiwi Bus Builders

The partnership between Altro and Kiwi Bus Builders is so effective because of the shared objectives and ideals of both companies. “Kiwi Bus Builders’ commitment to providing long lasting, safe, durable and sustainable vehicles is a great fit with the company ideology of Altro,” says Oliver Whyte, Asia Pacific manager for Altro Transport. “We are delighted to continue our partnership on this project, and we look forward to further assisting KBB with innovative solutions in future.”

Sustainability objectives

Both Altro and Kiwi Bus Builders prioritise sustainability both in their products and the work put in to produce them. KBB are actively working to help New Zealand hit emissions targets with their contribution to the uptake and running of electric vehicles. Altro, similarly, are proud to have sent zero waste to landfill since 2014, and operate an in-house recycling facility for offcut vinyl flooring. The result is a fleet of vehicles designed and engineered with sustainability as a core concern. .

Long-lasting, durable products

A long lasting product is a testament to the performance and quality of the manufacturing that went into it, and both Altro and Kiwi Bus Builders have original products still in use today. When both sides of a partnership are in business to create products that perform well and stand the test of time, you know it’s a perfect match.


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