E-car share fleet goes live

Green scheme puts 100 EVs into ser­vice across Christchurch

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS - Kurt Bayer

The largest 100 per cent elec­tric car-shar­ing scheme in the South­ern Hemi­sphere was wheeled out in Christchurch yes­ter­day. Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern helped flip the switch on the Yoogo Share ini­tia­tive that has been adopted by Christchurch City Coun­cil and will put a pure EV fleet of 100 cars, 10 hubs and 100 charg­ers around the re­build­ing city.

Twelve key busi­nesses with 3000 driv­ers are al­ready work­ing with the Yoogo Share cars, and re­mov­ing 115 com­bus­tion en­gine ve­hi­cles from their fleets.

Mem­ber­ship will open to pri­vate users next month.

Users can pick up a car at a Yoogo Share hub and, when fin­ished, drop it back and plug it in to charge.

Yoogo chief ex­ec­u­tive David Jenk­in­son said the tech­nol­ogy is a cost-ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive to com­pany cars, rental cars, taxis and even pri­vate own­er­ship.

“Imag­ine land­ing at Christchurch air­port on busi­ness, just one-minute walk to your Yoogo Share car, which you ac­cess via [mem­ber­ship card] or phone. At less than $15 an hour to drive a new BMW i3 or Hyundai Ioniq — it’s a no brainer,” he said.

“While elec­tric ve­hi­cles are in­creas­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, they can be chal­leng­ing to adopt be­cause of the ex­tra cost of the ve­hi­cles, not to men­tion costs for charg­ers and in­stal- Matthew Knight la­tion. Shar­ing is a great way to en­able the ben­e­fits of an EV with­out the has­sle or cost.”

In ad­di­tion to help­ing Kiwi busi­nesses “go green”, the Yoogo Share of­fer­ing also ap­peals to mil­len­ni­als, who are in­creas­ingly choos­ing public trans­port and rideshare ser­vices over car own­er­ship.

Can­ter­bury Univer­sity stu­dent Matthew Knight, who has been work­ing closely with Yoogo Share, says the idea of hav­ing all care, no re­spon­si­bil­ity ac­cess to a pure EV has huge ap­peal to his peer group.

“As a stu­dent the last thing you want is to have to fork out for a car that’s go­ing to need costly main­te­nance,” he said.

“We still want the free­dom to get around — and with Yoogo Share we’ve got ac­cess to a cool, new and sus­tain­able op­tion that’s more cost ef­fec­tive than taxis or Uber.”

Yoogo Share has ac­tive hubs at Christchurch Art Gallery carpark, West End carpark, Christchurch In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Fen­dal­ton and Pa­panui. Lyt­tel­ton, the Univer­sity of Can­ter­bury, Ara In­sti­tute, The Cross­ing and The Ter­race will get hubs over the com­ing weeks and months.

In May last year, Europ­car and Volk­swa­gen New Zealand teamed up with Auck­land, Welling­ton and Christchurch air­ports to of­fer cor­po­rate trav­ellers free elec­tric cars to travel be­tween busi­ness meet­ings.

The ini­tia­tive was aimed at “nor­mal­is­ing” the tech­nol­ogy and test­ing public de­sire to go elec­tric.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern were on hand to wel­come the city’s Yoogo elec­tric car-shar­ing ini­tia­tive, the largest such scheme in the South­ern Hemi­sphere.

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