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More electric cars in Council fleet

IMG 0086 SmallTwo more electric vehicles have joined the Hastings District Council vehicle fleet, with more on the horizon.

The first EV was purchased in 2016; part of a joint programme with electricity lines company Unison and Napier City Council to help promote the evolving technology and charging stations.

“The first vehicle has been used by the parking team and has performed very well; encouraging us to expand the number in the fleet and to make EVs the first consideration when purchasing vehicles,” said councillor and environmental portfolio holder Rod Heaps.

“The team has been very pleased with the way the first one has performed and it has proved to be an economical and sustainable way to proceed.”

A decision has been made to purchase relatively new second-hand EVs (under two years) with mileages under about 10,000. They are a similar cost to new petrol vehicles bought through the central Government vehicle purchasing programme.

“There are also the much-reduced running costs which, when we are talking about ratepayers funds, is a very important consideration, alongside doing all we can to reduce our contribution to greenhouse gases,” Mr Heaps said.

More electric vehicles will be added to the fleet, with about 10-15 expected to be purchased over the next three to five years.

The rate of replacement will depend on when current vehicles needed replacing, that suitable models are available to purchase, ensuring that on-site charging units can keep up with demand, and that the EVs performance continue to meet Council requirements.

Mr Heaps said that at the moment many Council vehicles, such as load-carrying vans and utes and those needed for travel out into the rural areas of Hastings, cannot be replaced with EVs as they cannot do the work required.

“That limits us to about 15 over three to five years at the moment, but looking further ahead as technology improves, I’m pretty convinced that the bulk of our 93-strong fleet will be able to be electric.”

24 July 2018

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