A 100-strong fleet of electric vehicles will be stationed at 10 hubs around Christchurch city from November and made available for use by businesses and members of the public.
The new car sharing scheme is the brainchild of a Christchurch City Council-led group of organisations that are looking to reduce emissions.
The fleet will be available through an online booking system.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said car share company Yoogo would run the service, which would include Hyundai Ioniqs and BMWi3s.
“An electric vehicle shared fleet is an exciting initiative for our city. The fleet will deliver improved environmental and health outcomes and we are proud to be the first city in New Zealand, and one of the few cities internationally, that has an electric car sharing service.”
Yoogo was selected to implement the service for the Council, Ara Institute, Aurecon, Beca, Canterbury District Health Board, Chapman Tripp, Environment Canterbury, Meridian Energy, Tonkin and Taylor, Warren and Mahoney, Jacobs and Christchurch International Airport. Christchurch residents will also able to book and use the electric vehicles.
Key features of the shared fleet roll-out are:
The first stage of the car share scheme will be launched in November this year with Hyundai Ionic and BMWi3 vehicles available at hubs in the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu car park, the West End car park and at Christchurch International Airport.
The second phase will see further hubs at the Lichfield Street car park, The Crossing car park, Ara Institute, Canterbury University, Papanui and Fendalton Libraries, and Lyttelton Community Centre. Overall, there will be 100 electric vehicles at 10 hubs around the city.
Kirsten Corson, General Manager of Yoogo, describes the electric car sharing platform as a smart and sustainable way to get around town for businesses and for everyday Kiwis.
“Yoogo will deliver an experience that is easy, enjoyable and affordable,” says Ms Corson. “The shared vehicle partners and the public will be able to book vehicles online and access them via their phone or swipe card.”
“This will be the largest transition from combustion engines to pure electric shared vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Initially cars will need to be dropped back to their original location but phase two of the service to be rolled out next year would allow shared fleet users to drop vehicles off to different fleet hubs.
Christchurch City Council’s Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley said it was an exciting development for Christchurch to have a 100 per cent battery electric transport service.
“Our electricity is largely generated from renewable energy, so this electric vehicle scheme will reduce our city’s carbon emissions. Also using a transport service with zero tail pipe emissions will improve air quality and have positive health benefits for the residents of Christchurch.”
The Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust was a foundation supporter, providing a grant towards the electrical and charging infrastructure for the phase one hub roll-out. EECA provided funding towards phase two of the service through the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.