Big com­mit­ment to boost EVs

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

Busi­ness lead­ers from some of New Zealand’s most iconic com­pa­nies have come to­gether with a shared vi­sion to tran­si­tion their fleets to elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs).

The ini­tia­tive, driven jointly by Air New Zealand and Mer­cury, with the sup­port of West­pac, rep­re­sents a to­tal cor­po­rate sec­tor com­mit­ment of more than 1,450 ve­hi­cles, and will in­crease the num­ber of EVs on New Zealand roads by more than 75 per­cent within the next three years. Along with the sig­nif­i­cantly lower run­ning costs of elec­tric­ity, this could re­move al­most three mil­lion kg of car­bon emis­sions an­nu­ally.

The busi­ness lead­ers, rep­re­sent­ing more than 30 or­gan­i­sa­tions, each com­mit­ted to tran­si­tion at least 30 per­cent of their com­pany ve­hi­cle fleets to plug-in elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2019 at the break­fast brief­ing in Auck­land which was also at­tended by Trans­port, En­ergy and Re­sources Min­is­ter, Hon Si­mon Bridges.

The col­lec­tive com­mit­ment – which spans a di­verse spec­trum of in­dus­tries in­clud­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, trans­port, waste and fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment, fi­nance and en­ergy – fol­lows an­nounce­ments from Mer­cury in 2014 and Air New Zealand in March this year on their moves to EVs.

Air New Zealand will tran­si­tion more than 75 per­cent of its light ve­hi­cle ground fleet to elec­tric by the end of this year. CEO Christo­pher Luxon says it is a land­mark in ad­dress­ing New Zealand trans­port emis­sions and demon­strat­ing gen­uine sus­tain­abil­ity.

“We knew other busi­ness lead­ers were in­ter­ested in the po­ten­tial of elec­tric ve­hi­cles, both from an en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mer­cial stand­point. We wanted to get the busi­ness com­mu­nity to­gether to lead the way on EVs and cre­ate the crit­i­cal mass of de­mand nec­es­sary to re­ally launch the mar­ket in New Zealand.

“The gov­ern­ment has been a great part­ner to busi­ness in ris­ing to the EV chal­lenge. I know they will be keen to see even more EVs in the gov­ern­ment fleet in the fu­ture. I also hope lots of other or­gan­i­sa­tions will be in­spired to come on board too.”

Mer­cury in­tro­duced plug-in ve­hi­cles to its fleet more than five years ago and will have more than 70 per­cent plug-in elec­tric by 2018. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Fraser Whin­eray says the busi­ness case for or­gan­i­sa­tions and the logic of elec­tric ve­hi­cles in New Zealand is clear, given the coun­try’s re­new­able elec­tric­ity sup­ply, which is the envy of other coun­tries around the world.

“This is New Zealand’s great­est green-growth op­por­tu­nity. It’s very hard to ar­gue with home-grown fuel at the equiv­a­lent of 30 cents per litre, no tailpipe emis­sions, re­duc­ing our de­pen­dence on im­ported fos­sil fu­els and help­ing pre­serve our hard-earned ex­port dol­lars.

“New Zealan­ders are al­ready on this jour­ney with over half of all EVs in this coun­try owned pri­vately. To­day’s com­mit­ment by busi­ness is sig­nif­i­cant both in show­ing lead­er­ship and be­cause these cars will end up in the sec­ond-hand mar­ket, where most Ki­wis buy their cars.”

West­pac chief ex­ec­u­tive David McLean, says it was an easy de­ci­sion be­com­ing in­volved and sup­port­ing this ini­tia­tive.

“We’ve started a trial of EVs and we’re com­mit­ted to build­ing this out across our fleet over the next few years and have un­der­taken to tran­si­tion to 80 elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2019.

“Be­ing a good cor­po­rate cit­i­zen is not just about the de­ci­sions that or­gan­i­sa­tions make about their own busi­ness but about tak­ing a broader lead­er­ship po­si­tion.”

Mer­cury chief ex­ec­u­tive Fraser Whin­eray and Air New Zealand CEO, Christo­pher Luxon.

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