The future of electric vehicles begins in Wellington

  • Published Date 22 Jun 2016

Leading international experts will be discussing the future of electric transport in New Zealand in a sold out symposium in Wellington on Monday.

Transport operators and funders from across New Zealand will be listening to experts from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Norway and will focus on what can be done to accelerate the uptake of electric cars, bikes, buses and trucks in New Zealand.

The Future is Electric Electric Vehicle Symposium is being hosted by Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council on June 27 at the Rydges Hotel in Featherston Street.

GWRC Chair Cr Chris Laidlaw says the regional council has committed to transforming its bus fleet to all electric, and event organisers are looking for Wellington to lead the way in promoting electric vehicle use in New Zealand.

"Electric vehicles will reduce carbon emissions, improve our air quality, make our roads quieter, reduce our reliance on imported fuel and help combat global warming," says Cr Laidlaw.

"Electric vehicle technology continues to improve very quickly and is becoming mainstream in countries and provinces with similar renewable electricity sources and populations to New Zealand.

"There is strong interest within the transport sector, with many keen to see infrastructure that will make electric vehicles viable for private, public and commercial transport.

"This event is part of a regional conversation to map out a pathway for an electric future, and we will be looking to the government for more tangible incentives to help kick start the process."

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Wellington City Council is keen to make charging electric cars increasingly convenient.

"Climate change is a huge challenge. Wellington and New Zealand has significant renewable electricity, so electric vehicles will cut greenhouse gas emissions radically.

"While many people can charge at home or office, visitors and those with long journeys need additional charging points. And as Wellington is a windy city, e-bikes offer a much easier cycling experience," she says.

The government has set a national target for adopting 64,000 electric vehicles by 2021. Currently there are around 1200 electric cars in New Zealand, with 150 of them in Wellington region.

Local councils and businesses will install a network of charging stations throughout the city and region.

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Updated April 28, 2022 at 4:57 PM

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