6 Aug 2018

Christchurch has powered into a finalist spot at the 2018 EVworld NZ Champions Awards.

The city is one of three vying for the Most Electric Vehicle Friendly Town of the Year award after taking the premier honours last year.

Christchurch City Council Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley says the finalist recognition underlines “our city’s forward-thinking approach to utilising renewable energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions while creating a healthier environment for our community through reduced exhaust emissions”.

A Yoogo fleet vehicle.

Yoogo Share general manager Kirsten Corson, Council Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel with a Yoogo car.

Several electric vehicle initiatives have led to this recognition.

Christchurch is the first city in New Zealand to host a 100 per cent battery electric car-sharing scheme. The scheme has been initiated, researched and developed by the Council, and delivered by Yoogo Share.

More than 2500 registered business and private members are already helping to drive the popularity of the Yoogo Share service. This includes more than 800 private users and 25 organisations registered to use the service. Bookings have soared from about 1000 per month following the launch in February 2018 to more than 1700 in July this year.

“Our city car-sharing scheme continues to evolve and expand as more people get on board,” Mr Crutchley says. “We already have a 100-strong fleet of battery electric vehicles stationed at eight hubs around the city, with more hubs to come.

“Red Bus will take delivery of three battery electric zero exhaust buses, which will roll into the city by March next year to service the airport to Bus Interchange route. There have also been public electric vehicle chargers rolling out across the city at Council and business sites.”

In other areas, Zephyr Airworks has been trialing a self-piloted battery electric air taxi, called Cora, in the skies above Canterbury. Autonomous battery electric shuttles are being tested at the airport, Paxster delivery electric vehicles are being utilised by NZ Post and the first electric sideloader waste collection truck in the southern hemisphere has been launched in Christchurch this year.

Yoogo chief executive David Jenkinson says the support for the car-sharing service in Christchurch has been “overwhelming”.

“Even better are the 40 tonnes of carbon savings made in the six months to June, again showing that Christchurch is leading the way as a smart New Zealand city,” he says.

The EVworld awards recognise pioneering individuals, businesses and towns committed to championing the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. The winners will be announced in Auckland on 9 August.