Major Kiwi firms pledge to go electric
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.
The electric engine of a VW Golf at the Paris Motor Show.