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New Zealand's first fully battery-powered electric car sharing scheme

19 February 2018

Christchurch is now home to New Zealand's first fully battery-powered electric car sharing scheme.

The service was developed by Christchurch City Council (CCC) and is being run by Yoogo Share.

The scheme, which lets people hire electric vehicles at different points in the city, was open to foundation members at the end of last year and is now also available to the public.

Christchurch City Council (CCC) initiated, researched and developed the car sharing service, which is being run by Yoogo Share.

Yoogo Share General Manager Kirsten Corson says it is the biggest deployment of electric cars in New Zealand.

"There are no combustion engines hidden in these cars."

Hyundai Ioniq and BMWi3 vehicles are available at several hubs in the city, including at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu and Christchurch International Airport.

Further hubs will be added in April, including at The Crossing, education institutes such as Ara Institute and the University of Canterbury and at the Lyttelton Community Centre.

By then there will be 100 battery electric vehicles at 10 or more hubs across the city.

CCC Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley, who was Project Manager for the scheme, says: “This is an exciting new transport service powered by electricity that is largely generated from renewable energy. The result is a service with zero tail pipe emissions that will both reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, which will have positive health benefits for the residents of Christchurch.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she is proud that Christchurch is the first city in New Zealand, and one of the few cities internationally, that has such a service.

"It’s a smart and sustainable way for businesses and for local residents to get around town and I'm excited to see the service grow. [It] will deliver improved environmental and health outcomes and help the Council achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says encouraging the use of electric vehicles is an important part of the Government’s plan for New Zealand to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust was a foundation funding supporter for the service, providing a grant towards the electrical and charging infrastructure for the hubs.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority has provided funding towards stage two of the service through its Low Emission Vehicles contestable fund.

The scheme’s foundations members were: CCC, the Ara Institute, Aurecon, Beca, the Canterbury District Health Board, Chapman Tripp, Christchurch International Airport, Environment Canterbury, Jacobs, Meridian Energy, Tonkin and Taylor and Warren and Mahoney.

Christchurch is also now home to the first electric sideloader waste collection truck in the southern hemisphere.

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