Council Pushes Electric Vehicles


Wellington’s council is getting pro-active to push electric vehicles in the capital.

Renault-Nissan and the council have just signed a deal in Japan to identify potential areas of cooperation in promoting the use of zero emission vehicles in Wellington.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast took a test drive of the new Nissan LEAF electric vehicle at the company’s Oppama Proving Ground near Tokyo.

Ms Prendergast was impressed saying the car had “ great performance, was easy to drive and would make short work of our hills.”

The mayor says the introduction of electric vehicles fits perfectly with the council’s aim for Wellington to be seen as a ‘green capital’.

A small fleet of the new electric cars will be brought to Wellington early next year and heavily promoted.

While details about who will get to drive the vehicles are still under discussion, the Council hopes to see the cars based in prominent places around the city and at tourist entry points like Wellington Airport, the InterIslander ferry terminal and cruise ship berths.

The cars, capable of running for 160 kilometres on one charge, would be recharged at a number of ‘stations’ in city streets.

Wellington City Council has allocated $50,000 to install charging facilities, parking, signage and for the lease of cars.  The Council is working with key parties, including Meridian Energy, in Wellington to increase the scale of the project.




  1. Carl says:

    $50k? lol what is that going to do? buy one car? dreamers, fly all the way to Japan to say, “yeah it works” no shit, they have worked for years.

    bring on the volt and any other ideas, but serially $50k is a joke…..

  2. ingolfson says:

    Indeed, the trip to check them out in Japan probably cost more.

  3. Jon C says:

    We should be encouraging the Wellington council for this. It would be awesome if the government or the Auckland council pursued a similar campaign to change habits to driving alternative fuel cars.
    Nissan is supplying the cars, it seems.
    The council is using the money to promote them and set up ‘filling’ stations.
    How wonderful it will be if they can prove it’s a solution for Wellington motorists and the infrastructure can be set up later to meet the demand.

  4. Carl says:

    Its old news though, its been in Paris and London since 04, with smart, gee wizz and a few other electric cars. electric cars also get free parking (which is where the charing stations are) this is what needs to be done, not bs trips to Japan to look at cars, stay in flash hotels and be wined and dined IMO of course.

  5. ingolfson says:

    Jon, what is needed first and foremost in my mind is a (possibly mandatory) standard for the power stations for ALL electric cars. It will be hard enough to find a acceptable “power point” for these things for a long while (maybe forever, I am not convinced that even with the most modern batteries, pure electric vehicles are worth the bother). So the push should be to get interoperability. Like at a petrol station - you expect to pull up and not have to worry about them having “your” fuel and “your” nozzle.

    So I feel setting standards would be worth more than putting a small sum of money into e-cars.

  6. Ian says:

    I wish Prendergast, would spend a little more time at her desk. And tell me again, where is that electricity coming from?

  7. Vin says:

    Whilst anything that reduces Co2 emissions is laudable, I still don’t see electric cars as the real solution. Surely a real “Green City” would focus on walking, cycling and PT. Along with reducing emissions these modes maximise community cohesion, health,safety and don’t promote urban sprawl.

  8. Anthony says:

    Though im for the electrification of the cars, i would hate to see the risk of losing funding for PT as making electric stations could be quite exspensive. Also it might encourage more people to use the cars instead of the trains.

  9. Scott says:

    @ ingolfson

    The American EV plug has been standard (SAE J1772) has been finalized. It can deliver up to 80 amps of 240V single phase power. That is the standard we are most likely to get in NZ. I think it will be a long time until we get a Nissan leaf DC fast charger in NZ (they are US$18000+ each) so we can wait for the Japanese standard to mature. Personally I like the European design by Mennekes. It can handle 230v single phase and 400v 3 phase @63 amps.

    In reality the bulk of EV charging will be done at home (160km is a lot of city driving). The public infrastructure is more of a promotional tool although it does help reduce range anxiety.

    @ Ian, In NZ 73% (for the march 2010 quarter)of our energy was generated from renewable. Even if EV’s are powered solely by electricity form gas or coal the net efficiency of doing so is higher than just running the car on petrol.


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