Otago Daily Times

DCC buying 12 more electric cars this year

- HAMISH MACLEAN hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

THE number of electric vehicles in the Dunedin City Council’s fleet is due to more than double by the end of the year when it reaches its 2021 goal.

But as yet, there are no plans to increase its uptake of vehicles in light of recent climate change advice.

Council fleet and parking operations team leader Reece Smith said the council intended to buy 12 electric vehicles this year to add to its current lowemissio­ns fleet of eight electric or hybrid vehicles.

In May 2016, days after the Government announced its electric vehicles programme, the council decided to purchase electric vehicles at a rate so it owned 20 fully electric vehicles by the end of this year.

Electric vehicles in New Zealand number just over onethird of the Government’s stated target of 64,000 electric vehicles in the country by the end of 2021.

The Climate Change Commission this month began consulting on its advice to the Government that could lower the number of petrol and dieselpowe­red vehicles on the road.

‘‘While there is no specific direction to local government to follow the Government's new lead, the DCC will continue to acquire more EVs [electric vehicles] in the future as vehicles are due for replacemen­t,’’ Mr Smith said in an emailed statement this week.

With about 120 vehicles in its fleet, 20 electric or hybrid lowemissio­ns vehicles would make up more than 15% of the fleet.

The Climate Change Commission now says at least 50% of all light vehicle and motorcycle imports should be electric by 2027.

The majority of the vehicles coming into New Zealand for everyday use should be electric by 2035, it said.

And road transport could be almost ‘‘decarbonis­ed’’ by 2050, it said.

One important constraint would be the availabili­ty of electric vehicles, particular­ly those that were second hand.

The country’s vehicle market was ‘‘small, remote, leftside driving, and heavily dependent on used vehicle imports from Japan’’.

Meanwhile, Japan was prioritisi­ng investing in hydrogen and convention­al hybrids and had limited electric vehicle supply, it said.

 ?? PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON ?? Car park juiceup . . . A DCC electric vehicle gets a top up in the car park beneath the Civic Centre.
PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON Car park juiceup . . . A DCC electric vehicle gets a top up in the car park beneath the Civic Centre.

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