Hubs for hiring electric cars on the way

CLEAN GREEN: Kirsten Corson, Yoogo general manager shows Mayor Lianne Dalziel the benefits of electric cars.

Christchurch is set to introduce the largest fleet of electric cars in the Southern Hemisphere.

Twelve businesses throughout the city, including the city council and Environment Canterbury, will be part of the scheme which promotes the use of electric cars.

And the public will be able to hire an electric car from November at three hubs around the city including the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu car park, the West End car park and at Christchurch International Airport.

The second phase will see further hubs at the Lichfield Street car park, The Crossing car park, Ara Institute, Canterbury University, Papanui and Fendalton Libraries, and Lyttelton the Community Centre.

Yoogo, who are running the service said it will cost $11.90 an hour to hire a vehicle, which covers everything from insurance to recharging.

But there will be extra surcharges for things such as vehicles taken from the airport.

By the end of the two phases, there will be 100 electric vehicles at 10 hubs around the city.

The city council, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Aurecon, Beca, Canterbury District Health Board, Chapman Tripp, ECan, Meridian Energy, Tonkin and Taylor, Warren and Mahoney, Christchurch International Airport and Jacobs are all part of the initiative.

“An electric car sharing scheme is an exciting initiative for our city,” Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.

It will see 52 combustion engine vehicles replaced from the city council’s fleet.

Those replaced will progressively be sold off or redistributed from November.

Kevin Crutchley, city council’s resource efficiency manager, said using a transport service with zero tail pipe emissions will improve air quality and have positive health benefits for residents.

The Christchurch Agency for Energy Trust was a foundation supporter, providing a $365,000 grant towards the charging infrastructure for the first phase, Mr Crutchley said.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority has also provided $500,000 of funding towards phase two of the service through the low emission vehicles contestable fund.

“The only cost to the Council to date has been staff and consultant time,” he said.