Ratepayer Funded Charging Station Used as Car Park
The Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered what is probably the most expensive staff car park in the country, located at Z Energy on Customhouse Quay in Wellington. Between 2010 and 2012, the Wellington City Council spent $100,000 on a zero-emissions vehicle program, and only thing to show for it is a 'charging station' white elephant. Most days it is occupied by conventional vehicles owned by the staff at the Z Energy station.
"Instead of being used to charge
electric vehicles, the ratepayer funded 'charging station'
is used as a staff car park for the service station
attendants,” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of
the Taxpayers’ Union.
"A member of the public who contacted our tip-line, claims to walk past the charging station every weekday and only once this year has an electric vehicle been parked there.”
“Even without paying for the charging station no one uses, the economics of the scheme was always dodgy. Wellington ratepayers were paying the same amount per year to lease an electric vehicle, than it costs outright for a brand new fuel efficient hybrid. Without the Council's electric car, there is even less demand for the charging station.”
“We asked the Council to provide any information which would show that ratepayers got value for money. All we got back was a report that concluded that the program was useful as a 'communications tool’. The $100,000 of ratepayer money was used for green PR, not reducing emissions."
More information is available at www.taxpayers.org.nz.