Scooters Planned To Green Auckland Fleet
20 February 2008
Electric scooters are the Auckland Regional Council’s latest initiative to green its fleet.
Two scooters are now being trialled by ARC staff as a way to get around town on business. It’s part of the regional council’s commitment to making its own transport clean and cost-effective.
The ARC’s organisational sustainability programme, reported to the finance committee today, sets targets for reducing green-house gases, improving fuel efficiency, reducing energy use and implementing a travel plan.
Finance committee chairman Bill Burrill said the organisational sustainability programme made financial and environmental sense.
“The organisation is making steady and commendable progress.”
The ARC this year decided to trial some alternatives to cars, as well as reducing emissions from its existing fleet. Paul Chambers, the sustainability programme’s manager, said more than half of ARC staff already used bicycles, motorbikes and public transport to get to and from work, and building on that existing culture seemed a reasonable next step.
Two conventional bicycles are also available, and there’s a City Hop rental car on site which staff can hire by the hour. This allows staff to use public transport but also have access to a car on the days when they need it – without them having to pay daily running and parking costs. The ARC is also using Green Cabs, New Zealand’s first hybrid taxi company, as one of its preferred suppliers.
The council has started emissions testing of its vehicle fleet, including parks’ rangers and pollution officers’ specialised vehicles. Four per cent of the 108-strong fleet needed tune-ups. The ARC will to continue to purchase low-emissions vehicles, including hybrids.
The scooters are like any traditional moped – but the batteries are recharged instead of filling the tank with petrol. They charge up in about 90 minutes and it costs about 50c to travel 100km.
“As far as we know, the scooters are the first of their kind to be trialled by an organisation in Auckland,” Mr Chambers says. “We want to reduce our carbon footprint and provide staff with viable alternatives to driving cars in and around Auckland.
“We’ve also found that the full cost of ownership is less for hybrids and zero-emission vehicles, as we save on running costs.”
Experienced riders are trialling the scooters as part of the ARC's health and safety procedures, and scooter training will be offered.
The top speed on the machines is 50km, so the scooters cannot go on the motorways or on the harbour bridge.
The ARC sustainability programme’s goals for 2008 are:
• To continue to
monitor the Councils C02 footprint and implement the
Council’s improvement programme to achieve the 20%
reduction (excluding farming) in green house gas emission
targets by 2009-10
• Install eco-lighting in the Pitt St headquarters. This will cost $290,000 but the ARC will recoup that investment within five years through lower electricity bills.
• Trial zero emissions vehicles
• Purchase low-emission fleet vehicles
• Implement the ARC Travel Plan
• Minimise waste
• Buy eco products