Council Making Sustainable Decisions for Council Transport
The Tararua District Council’s decision to purchase two electric vehicles (EV) is part of the council’s wider strategy to combat climate change.
In what is a small step in the right direction, Peter Wimsett, Council’s Manager of Strategy and District Development, said the purchase of two Hyundai Kona is a trial for Council of what the technology can do, as well as a way to get our staff used to the technology.
“One EV will be a pool vehicle and the other will be for our building officers,” he said. “The Hyundai Kona can travel 450 kilometres before needing a recharge. In theory that’s a return trip to Wellington.”
Wimsett said EVs are generally nicer to drive and more responsive.
The Tararua District currently has charging stations in Dannevirke and Woodville, with $50,000 funding from EECA for two charging stations in Pahiatua. Wimsett said these need to erected close to a transformer with sufficient capacity.”
Each charging station in Dannevirke and Woodville allows for expansion, with well lit sights in closed circuit television (CCTV) areas a requirement.
“The charging stations cost $50,000 each if installed close to a transformer with enough capacity, otherwise costs can be much greater” he said. “Electric vehicles are only coming into mass production now, with an expected price drop with the Government planning in 2021 to start subsidising electric vehicles, funded by a tariff on fossil fuel vehicles. Significant improvements in battery technology are also coming that will help improve the EV industry.”
Although not currently calculated in the advantages for electric vehicles, Wimsett said health benefits will be considerable, with EVs not putting contamination into the air.
“The move to electric vehicles is now becoming viable for businesses but the cost of a new car should be noted in context of the fossil fuel industry impacts on society. The International Monetary Fund asseses the cost fossil fuel industry to society at $US 5.3 trillion, including the International Energy Agency estimate of $US400 million in direct subsidies in 2018” . “It’s mindboggling and insidious given the scale of costs to society and the environmental impacts it is creating.”