A new guide to help local authorities make their communities more friendly to electric vehicles (EVs) is now available. Driving a Low Emissions Economy summarises the environmental, social and economic case for EVs, provides advice on operational and long-term planning, and outlines practical steps councils can take to help our country transition to a low emissions economy.
The guide is produced by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) as part of the government’s information campaign to accelerate the uptake of EVs.
“Transforming our fleet to run on electricity is one of the most effective ways for cities and towns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says EECA CE Andrew Caseley. “Local authorities around the country have stated their determination to play their part. We want to provide practical, informed advice to help them get things moving.”
Transport is responsible for about 18 percent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions each year (45 percent of energy-related emissions).
The guide suggests a range of approaches local authorities can take, from policy to promotion.
Long-term and annual plans provide an opportunity to consider how EVs can support goals related to the environment, air quality and economic development.
Other areas covered include how to transition your fleet to electric, how to support the rollout of charging infrastructure, and ways to welcome EVs to your community such as awareness-raising events, designated parking and well-placed signage.
Several local authorities have already found innovative and ambitious ways to make electric vehicles business as usual, says Andrew.
Christchurch City Council, for example, initiated, researched and developed a 100 percent battery electric car sharing concept for Christchurch and then partnered with several organisations to go to market. Yoogo Share has delivered the 100 percent battery electric car sharing service to businesses and the public with access to a fleet of 100 cars from eight hubs since its launch in February.
Northland Regional Council has 10 electric vehicles in its fleet and plans to add two more. It has worked with partners to install fast charging stations across Northland.
The guide will be released to delegates at the LGNZ Conference, then be available in the publications section of EECA’s website: www.eeca.govt.nz
This article was first published in the July 2018 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.