Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wellington driving toward an electrified 2030

Wellington City Council plans to replace its fossil-fuel powered passenger fleet vehicles with zero emission, electric alternatives by 2030, while also identifying opportunities to reduce the size of the fleet where possible.

The Council’s goal is to reduce road transport emissions, which currently make up around 34% of the city’s emissions.

Wellington Mayor, Andy Foster says the Council is taking a leadership role by reducing its own transport emissions as part of its commitment to addressing the city’s climate emergency.

“The new EVs – five Hyundai Kona and five MG ZS – replace petrol powered cars that were due for replacement and means 18 percent of our light passenger fleet is now fully electric.”

“Electrification of our fleet not only reduces our emissions but also reduces operational costs long term. The whole of life costs are approximately two thirds lower than that of the internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalent on a cost per kilometre basis.  

“Electricity is approximately one seventh of the cost of petrol to drive per kilometre, so during this decade an estimated $1 million worth of fuel savings is likely. In the future this may be rebalanced should the Government make changes to charges. We’ve also been able to take advantage of Central Government’s new Clean Car Rebate, saving $7,500 on the purchase price of each vehicle.

“We’ll continue to explore options to replace our utes, trucks and other vehicles in the next five to eight years. Our approach balances ambition with practicality – we want our fleet to be fully electric as soon as possible, but we need to wait for the automotive market to offer all the specialist types of vehicles we need to provide the city’s services.”

New EV fleet with (L-R) CEO Barbara McKerrow, Cr Condie, Mayor Foster, Deputy Mayor Sarah Free, and Crs Foon and Pannett.

The capital’s EV infrastructure is also being super-charged to support more electric vehicles, the Mayor said.

From next year, more than 30 fast charger locations will be created at community sites around the city, as part of a broader plan to create a network of chargers throughout the Wellington region.

Councillor Iona Pannett, Chairperson of the Council’s Pūroro Āmua Planning and Environment Committee, says the initiative is part of a city-wide push to help more Wellingtonians move around in zero and low-carbon ways.

“For those residents who will still need to use a car, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to move to EVs. For others who prefer to walk, bike, scoot or take public transport, we’re working on improving those options too,” she said.

“Another benefit of the Council’s EV-centred approach is our intention to sell fleet EVs in the second-hand market once they are due for replacement in the future. In doing so we’ll be increasing the accessibility of more affordable EVs to Wellingtonians.”

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