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Greater Wellington embraces trend towards electric vehicles

24 January 2020

Electric vehicles are critical to decarbonising road transport, so the Greater Wellington Regional Council has endorsed an advisory report on ‘Supporting Electric Vehicles in the Wellington Region’.

Greater Wellington Climate Committee Chair Thomas Nash says the report, commissioned by electric line companies and councils who collaborate via the Regional EV Working Group, shows how it is possible to meet net zero emissions targets by working closely together to influence government policy on the key issues of access to EVs, electricity supply and charging infrastructure.

“There is still time for us to halve net emissions globally by 2030 and to reach zero by 2050 so that we can limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“New Zealand can reach this goal and lead the way by ensuring all new vehicles are electric from 2030 at the latest,” Cr Nash says.

The advisory report says local government and electricity network companies play key roles in providing leadership, supporting the development of infrastructure, and in the promotion of electric vehicles.

“We all need to incorporate EVs in organisational planning, strategy and operations, prioritise EVs in fleet procurement decisions, advocate for public EV chargers, and facilitate the uptake of battery-electric buses for public transport.

“So far this report has been endorsed by Greater Wellington and Masterton District Council, and recommendations taken from it will be built into regional council’s plans, such as those for emissions reduction and transport.”

The report suggests organisations and individuals adopt an ‘EV first’ policy which Greater Wellington has already taken on-board with their goal of having 50 per cent EVs in their fleet by 2024 and 100 per cent by 2030.

“Greater Wellington will co-ordinate with other organisations in the Regional EV Working Group and push Central Government and others for stronger policies to help drive the uptake of EVs, increase supplies of renewable electricity and charging infrastructure to power EVs and find solutions for the reuse and recycling of EV batteries.”

Wellington as a region presently has the third greatest number of electric vehicles per head of population in the country (4.6 EVs per 1000 people, behind Auckland and Otago respectively), Cr Nash explains.

“The trend is clearly moving in the right direction. Now, to keep us on track to meet national climate goals, we need to increase this so that at least six per cent of all vehicles in the region are EVs by mid-2024.

“Most people in New Zealand purchase their cars second hand, and when more organisations adopt an electric vehicle first policy, EVs will become cheaper and more available to the public for second-hand purchases.

“Greater Wellington recommends both organisations and individuals embrace the trend towards electric vehicles and look to find out more about how they can get on board.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: This report was prepared by Jake Roos Consulting Ltd with assistance from Reytna Limited. It was commissioned by the Wellington Region EV Working Group for Wellington Electricity, Electra, PowerCo, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, Masterton District Council, Carterton District Council and South Wairarapa District Council.

Supporting EVs in the Wellington Region Advisory Report can be found here: https://www.gw.govt.nz/electric-vehicles/


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