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Council goes electric

Council chief executive, Wayne Jack, with new electric vehicle. Napier City Council is doing its bit to plan for the future with the first of two fully electric vehicles in its fleet out on the road.

A site to charge the vehicles was set up by the Napier Civic building. The Renault Kangoo vans used by the Council courier and parking staff have proved easy to run and to charge, says Council Chief Executive Wayne Jack.

“Reducing the Council’s carbon footprint is an important part of our sustainable excellence programme, but it is only one part. We will also be looking at improving building efficiencies and reducing waste to landfill, among other things.”

The vehicles are clearly marked with the Council’s colours – however, although they are easily identified visually, the public needs to be aware that the vehicles are silent.

The vehicle fleet is regularly reviewed and ideally all Council vehicles should be low emission eventually, Mr Jack says. Each vehicle can travel approximately 150km before needing to be charged, making the vehicles ideal for day to day Council activities. Charging to around 80 percent capacity takes 45 minutes.
The Civic Building charge site is also available to the public.

City Strategy staff are also working with Unison to establish a site within the Napier CBD for members of the public to charge their own electric vehicles before the end of the year. There are plans to install further charge sites throughout the city over time.

Council backs the initiatives driven by central Government agency EECA (Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority). It will be applying for the contestable fund which encourages innovation and investment in fresh ideas to accelerate the uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand.

21 September 2016

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