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Electric car share solution powers ahead in Christchurch

Part of: All-of-Government Procurement news Contract update Travel Vehicles
Electric car being charged
Low emissions electric car

Environmental outcomes were always top of mind when Christchurch City Council went out to market to replace a portion of their vehicle fleet with an electric car sharing scheme last year.

Richard Simpson, Commercial Manager at Christchurch City Council, said the Council was looking for a vehicle solution that could help achieve their ambitious carbon emission targets.

We didn’t just want an EV fleet, we also wanted a car sharing scheme. That combination had not been done in New Zealand before.

Richard Simpson  Commercial Manager, Christchurch City Council

As a result the Council has decommissioned 54 of its light passenger vehicles and instead is using a pool of 100 electric vehicles offered by Yoogo Share as a car share service. The cars consist of BMW i3s and Hyundai Ioniqs, which are conveniently located in three main locations in the city, three in the suburbs and one at the airport.

Car sharing solution has a range of benefits beyond the environmental

Christchurch has already achieved 200 tonnes of carbon emissions savings since the scheme’s launch in February last year.

But having a fully outsourced solution also has a number of other benefits beyond reducing carbon emissions.

“We don’t have to do the maintenance on the cars, find parking for them and get them cleaned. Not to mention avoiding the difficulties of key management, because all cars have swipe card access,” says Richard.

“And the feedback from staff is that they enjoy driving a safe, clean and green car that is fun to drive.”

Optimising a cleaner future for the Christchurch city

The Council also knew that as the early adopters they had a unique opportunity to be an agent for change to help drive adoption of this new technology and change car ownership behaviour.

The 100 electric vehicles that are part of the Council-driven initiative are also available for businesses and members of the public to use.

“We now have an enjoyable platform that enables other businesses to go electric as well,” says Richard. “We want other companies to buy-in to it and reduce their fleets too.”

As the service is still in its infancy all the wider benefits have yet to be fully realised. However, it’s hoped that the scheme’s existence will mean fewer cars on the road by providing another option for citizens who may opt not to own a second car or a car at all.

Changing our thinking to a broader definition of value

The Council‘s assessment of the value of the scheme’s benefit to the city takes into account the broader societal and environmental impacts of this investment decision.

Richard says it’s important to look at the scheme from a wider perspective than just purely financial.

“It’s not a cheaper option for us to move away from our old vehicles to an outsourced solution. But the cost-benefit analysis stacks up for our Council to be leaders using electric vehicles and to support this service for the citizens of Christchurch,” he says.