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Electric vehicle available for Christchurch agencies

14 August 2012
Electric vehicle available for Christchurch agencies

Four Canterbury agencies will get access to an electric vehicle over the coming year, thanks to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and Mitsubishi.

The fully electric, five-door Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which has been loaned to EECA for a year from Mitsubishi, has been brought down to Christchurch to be shared amongst various organisations to gain better understanding of the benefits and challenges of an electric vehicle in an urban environment. The i-MiEV will be shared by staff at the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority, Environment Canterbury and Orion, with each organisation having run of the vehicle for three months each.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said it is a chance for staff at some of Christchurch's biggest organisations to experience what it's like driving an electric car, and to think about any necessary provisions for them during the rebuild.

“The i-MiEV will work well in the Christchurch environment as it does in the rest of urban New Zealand. The 160 kilometre range of its lithium-ion battery fits within the average New Zealander’s daily drive of 39 km a day. Over 85% of our homes have their own garage, so charging overnight won’t be an issue.

“Electricity produced in New Zealand comes from mainly renewable sources, so the car isn't relying on imported fossil fuels in the tank or at the charge point.

“Electric vehicles can help us reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and noise on New Zealand’s roads, and their running costs are low – the equivalent running cost of 26c/litre.

“So far not that many people in New Zealand have had a chance to experience driving electric vehicles. This project gives staff at organisations involved with the Christchurch rebuild that opportunity, and we can learn from their experiences."

Electric vehicles were granted an extension to their exemption from road user charges to 2020, as part of this year's Budget announcements.
Note to Editors:
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is the Crown agency that encourages, supports, and promotes energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the use of renewable energy in New Zealand EECA provides information to households through ENERGYWISETM www.energywise.govt.nz and to businesses through EECA BUSINESSTM www.eecabusiness.govt.nz

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