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Rental vehicles broader outcomes

The government has made it a priority to reduce carbon emissions with the goal of transitioning to a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

For many government agencies, travel represents the majority of their total carbon emissions.

Hiring a low emission vehicle is a direct way to help reduce your agency’s carbon emission footprint. Through the AoG rental vehicle and less-than-one-day rental contracts, many providers offer low emission vehicle options.

Provider specific broader outcomes and additional benefits

Booking guidance for low emission vehicles

Start by reviewing your agency’s travel policy. Your current travel policy may be driven by lowest price of the day which may mean it limits the low emission vehicle options available to your travel bookers.

Next, talk with your travel management services provider to reflect your agency’s travel policy so that low emission vehicles options are available on your online booking tool. To make low emission vehicles more visible, you can ask your travel management services provider to make low emission vehicles priority over other vehicle options when displaying on online booking tool.

Talk with your rental vehicle providers about your low emission vehicle needs so that appropriate settings are set up if you’re booking direct with the providers.

CO2 emission profile based on vehicle energy source

(Information from Ministry for the Environment 2019 emission factors workbook)

Vehicle type CO2 emission profile (kg CO2-e/unit)
Petrol Electric vehicle Hybrid (petrol)
Compact auto 0.171 0.018 0.130
Intermediate 0.187 0.020 0.143
Intermediate SUV 0.212 0.023 0.162

*A petrol vehicle emits 9.5 times more kg CO2-e/unit than the equivalent low emission vehicle.

For example, if you took a low emission compact auto vehicle between Auckland airport and Auckland CBD (approximately 30 km in distance) you would stop 4.59kgCO2e going into the atmosphere.

Total cost analysis - low emission vs. petrol vehicles

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Agency case studies

All-of-Government electric and hybrid vehicle pilot project

Small changes that have big impact - case study

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority

How Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority are successfully using the less-than-one-day rental vehicle contract video

More information available

If your agency would like more information on initiatives available to you, please either contact your travel management services provider or email the travel team.

If your agency has examples of initiatives you are currently working on then please email the travel team as we would love to hear from you.

Waka Kotahi (NZTA) and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment electric vehicle in policy discussion

Andrew Thrift, Account Manager New Zealand Government Procurement, talks with Leanne Hartshorne from Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency - NZTA) who recently prioritised electric and hybrid rental vehicles on their online booking tool. Photo: Waka Kotahi (NZTA)


Duration: 9:35

Andrew Thrift: My name's Andrew Thrift. I'm an account manager here at New Zealand government procurement and today I'm joined by Leanne Hartshorn from Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) and they've recently implemented prioritising electric and hybrid vehicles into their travel program when they rent vehicles through the all of, the wonderful all of government, rental vehicle contracts. So thanks for being with us today Leanne. Cutting to the chase, what was the main motivation, I was going to say driver, but I won't, what was the main motivation behind this initiative?

Leanne Hartshorne: Yeah thank you for asking me to talk about this. So with regards to motivation, Waka Kotahi is really aiming to have sustainable practices as part of what we do every day and who we are and we've recently released our sustainability action plan called “Toitū Te Taiao” and that looks at responding to four big challenges that we're facing in New Zealand at the moment, in relation to land transport. And one of those challenges relates to reducing our own internal corporate greenhouse gas emissions. So we’re looking really hard at the corporate practices and the culture and this includes reducing our own business related emissions relating to travel. So in our policy we've got low emissions as one of our key principles and we're asking people to choose low emission transport options such as electric vehicles where practical. We're also actively moving to an emission-free internal fleet so many of our staff are quite familiar already with using battery electric vehicles so when traveling and choosing a rental car, choosing an electric vehicle is really aligning with our commitment to creating a sustainable land transport system.

Andrew Thrift: So how did you? Did you start off? Did you need to change your travel policy or did you just tell everybody good luck use EV’s? What was the first thing you did and said to people.

Leanne Hartshorne: Yeah so we didn't actually have to change our policy as such because we've had in our policy the need to look for low emission options as one of our key principles for a little while. So when rental vehicle companies started introducing EV’s as an option into their fleet and we started to encourage this through our travel booker network, and then most recently when our travel management services provider recently upgraded their system we took that as a really good opportunity for us to refocus on the fact that low emission vehicles were our preferred option. So we asked them to pop in the EV's and hybrids as being in policy and then the other vehicles as out of policy. In saying that though we know that not every location has an EV option so we're trying to focus our attention on EV’s but knowing that we need to have a little bit of flexibility here.

Andrew Thrift: Yeah so that your your staff are automatically put into an EV or a hybrid unless they're trying to get to, I don't know Whanganui and back in a day, sort of thing?

Leanne Hartshorne: Yeah so our travel bookers are asked to book the preferred options or the in policy options and then if that's not available or if for some reason they, they aren't able to book that because a particular reason or the location, then they're asked to pop in to the system a note as to why that wasn't an option. So it's always the first choice and then there's some flexibility here if it's limited.

Andrew Thrify: And I suppose the other elephant in the room, as it were, is that is that the cost I, I have heard people say it costs more to hire an electric vehicle why would we do that? Was there any difficulty with getting that passed by senior management and people like that? It's going to cost on paper a little bit more to hire.

Leanne Hartshorne: Yeah so our executive leadership team is really focused on moving to low emission transport and reducing our carbon emissions relating to travel so we've had a lot of leadership support and with options to reduce our carbon emissions so getting leadership on board hasn't necessarily been too much of an issue. But in saying that, yes, we do know that the daily rate for an EV is a little bit more than the equivalent petrol or diesel option, but we also need to consider that there's no additional fuel costs at the end of the day so when you're taking your vehicle back, you're not having to refuel or pay that extra charge at the end of the day. And we also do need to be really conscious about you know considering the impact that every decision that we make has on our people and the planet.

Andrew Thrift: Oh good for you, yeah it is a misnomer to say that they cost more because every time I’ve hired a vehicle, you end up putting it back, you can't be bothered to go to a petrol station. They say we’ll fill it up for your mate!, with that really expensive petrol they've got at the car hire site. So that's yeah well done for sorting that one out. And how do you normally book your travel? Is it done through a team or one person or people individually?

Leanne Hartshorne: Yeah so we've got quite a large team of travel bookers across the country and so our travellers don't book themselves. They have a travel booker that books for them. What we have also introduced is a team of travel champions so we've got quite a number of travel bookers but then we have one person, or depending on the size of the office, possibly two people from each of our locations that is a travel champion. And we meet together as a group once a month and talk about what's happening in the travel space. And they really act like a bit of a SME group and they provide support to all the travel bookers in their location, and they help promote any changes to policies. And just become kind of the go-to people for anything relating to travel. Yeah and as far as booking the EV's I think like I've said earlier the low emission options are our “in policy” options or our preferred options but we do also allow our travel bookers to have that flexibility to book other options if there is a business requirement for it or the location doesn't have a lower emission option. But as I mentioned they are required to put in a little note into the system as to why they've chosen the vehicle type that they have.

Andrew Thrift: So I suppose the proof of the pudding moment, how have you been tracking has it been working have you seen an increase in the use, and that's good, or is there any push back at all.

Leanne Hartshorne: Yeah I think it's still early days for us and I think when the EV options were introduced by the vehicle retail providers a wee while ago, we did kind of a soft promotion and we tried to promote through our travel bookers and through our travel champions. What we've done though over the last couple of months, is as our travel management provider has changed the system we've really pushed that a little bit more and that's when we've included it as part of that in policy option when our travel bookers are making the bookings. And that really ties into, fortunately, when we've also introduced “Toitū Te Taiao” our sustainability action plan so I think this will be a really exciting time to actually see how this more targeted approach really helps us with reducing those carbon emissions and moving away from the standard petrol and diesel options to electric vehicle options.

Andrew Thrift: Yes well thanks very much Leanne for your time and talking to us today. It sounds like Waka Kotahi are doing a great job at lowering the carbon emissions and myself and future generations thank you for that. And look forward to hearing how it goes as the months progress. So thank you again for your time.

Leanne Hartshorne: Thank you.

Andrew Thrift: So now just to finish off, I think we've heard today that EV’s have got, and I believe the figures are 90 percent lower emissions compared to a petrol vehicle and hybrids have got 25 percent less. Simply by changing your online booking preferences you can make a real difference to your emissions and booking these vehicles shows that government really is looking to reduce the emissions and to use more of these vehicles. So the thing is, if we book more of them the rental vehicle companies will have more of them to book, so get out there and book EV’s and hybrids!

Thank you for your time.

Provider specific broader outcomes and additional benefits

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