News | 20 March 2018
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Electric convoy hits central Wellington this Friday – free rides!

Get a glimpse of what Wellington roads will look like in 10 years this Friday 23 March on Cuba Street when a convoy of electric vehicles park up for the public to see, ride in, and even test drive.

Wellington City Council is hosting the Leading the Charge electric vehicle road trip as it stops in Wellington on its way from Bluff to Cape Reinga. 

Mayor Justin Lester, a regular user of EVs, says it’s important for cities to encourage environmentally-friendly modes of transport. “In the next three decades, we’re going to see the city’s population boom, and for many people it may not be an option to give up the family car altogether. As they become more common, I’d hope EVs also become more accessible and affordable for the everyday family.”

The convoy will be parked on lower Cuba Street (Manners to Wakefield streets) from 11am to 7pm for members of the public to see. Joining the group on Friday are some Wellington-only guests including a Tranzurban single deck electric bus. 

“This is a chance for Wellingtonians to see what the future of their city looks like,” says Councillor David Lee, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Technology and Climate Change. “We’re seeing an exponential uptake of electric vehicles in the capital and across New Zealand. It’s a movement we’re excited to be supporting.”

Ahead of the introduction of 10 electric double-deck buses to Wellington later this year, Tranzurban will be offering free rides on its 100 per–cent electric bus on Friday. 

The bus will run every half hour from lower Cuba Street. In addition to being able to ride the bus, the public will have the chance to drive an electric vehicle provided they have a full driver’s license and are at least 25 years old. There will be a range of Tesla, BMW, Hyundai, and Nissan electric cars on display.

Key info:
• Wellington City Council is hosting the annual Leading the Charge electric vehicle road trip as they come through Wellington on a promotional tour from Bluff to Cape Reinga.
• Showcase on Fri 23 March from 11am to 7pm.
• The electric vehicles will be parked on lower Cuba St (between Manners and Wakefield streets). See attached map for more detail.
• The public will be able to see, ride in and even drive some of the electric vehicles (conditions apply).
o Just announced: Tranzurban will be running free rides in their 100% electric bus for the public every 30 minutes from 11am (last ride leaves at 6.30pm). 
• Chelsea Sexton, international electric vehicle expert featured in US documentary Who Killed the Electric Car will be attending.

Tranzurban electric bus background info:
The bus is a demonstration vehicle and will be trialled across New Zealand by Tranzit Group, parent company to Tranzurban. Tranzit Group has recently commissioned New Zealand’s first built electric bus into commercial operation, through a partnership between EECA, Tranzit Group and Auckland University of Technology. Tranzit Group is also building 10 fully electric double deck buses through Kiwi Bus Builders in Tauranga that will be used to provide urban services in Wellington in the middle of this year. There will be a total of 32 fully electric double decks in operation by the end of 2021.

More information:
• The Government has a target for 64,000 electric vehicles in New Zealand by end of 2021. If the current growth rate continues this goal will be met early.
• There are over 7000 electric vehicles in New Zealand (as at March 2018).
• Number of EVs in Wellington has jumped from 289 at beginning of 2017, to 842 end of Feb 2018.
• Used electric vehicles start at little over $10,000 to purchase.