Shared elec­tric ve­hi­cle fleet for hire in Auck­land

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - JACK­SON THOMAS

A small but grow­ing fleet of shared elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EV) is now avail­able for Auck­lan­ders to get around.

Car shar­ing com­pany Ci­ty­hop on Fri­day re­leased its sec­ond shared EV in Auck­land - an SUV - with more to come, Ci­ty­hop said.

Ci­ty­hop is a car shar­ing busi­ness whereby users pay to rent ve­hi­cles, by the hour, via its web­site.

The com­pany also has a fleet of 50 petrol cars.

Auck­land mayor Phil Goff said the EV move­ment was al­ready in mo­tion and would help re­duce con­ges­tion on Auck­land roads.

‘‘Ev­ery car share ve­hi­cle takes up to 13 cars off our roads and ev­ery elec­tric ve­hi­cle is one less car send­ing car­bon into our at­mos­phere,’’ Goff said.

Ci­ty­hop’s new EV would be avail­able at the Down­town carpark - the same lo­ca­tion where Mer­cury En­ergy in­stalled the city’s first ever EV charg­ing sta­tion, in 2015.

On Sep­tem­ber 7, NZTA en­acted a by­law al­low­ing EVs to use 11 pri­or­ity by­pass lanes on state high­ways in Auck­land on a 12 month trial.

This in­cluded tran­sit lanes and mo­tor­way on-ramps.

NZTA safety and en­vi­ron­ment direc­tor Harry Wil­son said af­ter in­stalling signs, the lanes were ex­pected to open to EVs by the end of Sep­tem­ber.

EV driv­ers must check the sig­nage at the start of each lane to en­sure they are el­i­gi­ble to use the spe­cial ve­hi­cle lane, he said.

This was the sec­ond by­law trial of its kind in Auck­land this year.

In March, NZTA ran a two week trial al­low­ing EVs ac­cess to five pri­or­ity lanes.

In­for­ma­tion packs were sent out to 978 par­tic­i­pants, with 68 re­spond­ing to the sur­vey.

Of the re­spon­dents, 78 per cent said ac­cess to pri­or­ity by­pass lanes im­proved their jour­ney from ‘‘slight im­prove­ment’’ to ‘‘speeds up travel con­sid­er­ably’’, NZTA said.

Amer­i­can elec­tric car gi­ant Tesla was pre­par­ing to open its first New Zealand re­tail store and ser­vice cen­tre at 501 Karanga­hape Rd, Auck­land.

The of­fi­cial open­ing date was yet to be con­firmed.

‘‘Ev­ery car share ve­hi­cle takes up to 13 cars off our roads and ev­ery elec­tric ve­hi­cle is one less car send­ing car­bon into our at­mos­phere’’

SUP­PLIED

Mer­cury chief ex­ec­u­tive Fraser Whin­eray, Auck­land mayor Phil Goff and Ben Carter from Ci­ty­hop test out the new EV in Auck­land’s Down­town carpark.

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