Ma­jor Kiwi firms pledge to go elec­tric

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - MO­TOR­ING

Thirty of the coun­try’s largest em­ploy­ers have agreed to en­sure at least 30 per cent of their fleet ve­hi­cles are elec­tric within three years.

Air New Zealand said in a state­ment that the prom­ise would mean at least an ad­di­tional 1450 elec­tric ve­hi­cles on the roads by 2019, which would boost their num­bers by 75 per cent.

The com­pa­nies com­mit­ting to the change in­clude Fon­terra, New World-owner Food­stuffs, Spark, Voda­fone, West­pac and Xero.

West­pac chief ex­ec­u­tive David McLean said it had been an easy ini­tia­tive to sup­port.

‘‘We’ve started a trial of EVs and we have un­der­taken to tran­si­tion to 80 elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2019,’’ he said.

EVs tend to be more at­trac­tive to fleet buy­ers than to pri­vate ones be­cause fuel sav­ings mount up faster if cars are rack­ing up high mileage – mak­ing the higher up­front cost of EVs less of a de­trac­tion.

But Mercury En­ergy, another of the com­pa­nies that has made the 30 per cent pledge, said just over half of EVs were in pri­vate hands.

Ger­many’s up­per house of Par­lia­ment, the Bun­desrat, be­came the lat­est Euro­pean in­sti­tu­tion to push for a ban on con­ven­tional car sales.

It is call­ing for the Euro­pean Union not to al­low new non­elec­tric ve­hi­cles to be reg­is­tered in Europe from 2030, Reuters said, quot­ing a Der Spiegel news­pa­per re­port.

That fol­lows planned uni­lat­eral bans on con­ven­tional car sales in Nor­way and Hol­land.

The ap­proach has been dis­missed by New Zealand Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges, who said in March that a ban was not some- thing the Gov­ern­ment here was con­sid­er­ing.

Welling­ton EV ad­vo­cate and Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil ad­viser Sig­urd Mag­nus­son said the coun­cil had adopted a pol­icy of only re­plac­ing ve­hi­cles with EVs, un­less there was a rea­son that was not prac­ti­cal.

Tesla has an­nounced it will set up shop in New Zealand by June.

The move to New Zealand was in re­sponse to what it said was en­thu­si­asm and ‘‘over­whelm­ing de­mand’’ for its Model 3 elec­tric car.

It will also set up a net­work of fast-charg­ing sta­tions.

REUTERS

The elec­tric en­gine of a VW Golf at the Paris Mo­tor Show.

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