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Posted on February 16, 2018

Southern hemisphere's largest electric car sharing scheme launches

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The largest 100 per cent electric car-sharing scheme in the Southern Hemisphere has been launched by Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel have officially launched Christchurch's first fully battery powered electric car sharing service. For more details see the IDTechEx report on electric vehicles.
The Christchurch City Council initiated, researched and developed the car sharing service, which is the first of its kind in New Zealand.
Yoogo Share is pure electric car sharing, a cost effective and zero carbon mobility option. You don't own, lease or finance the vehicles - instead vehicles are booked online or via the Yoogo app. Vehicles are collected from a chosen location, the car unlocked with a Yoogo access card or via the app. Users only pay for the time they use the vehicle
From today other Christchurch businesses and the public can access the battery electric vehicles in the service's fleet. Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she is proud that Christchurch is the first city in New Zealand, and one of the few cities internationally, that has a battery electric car sharing service. "This service will deliver improved environmental and health outcomes and help the Council achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030,'' the Mayor says. "It's a smart and sustainable way for businesses and for local residents to get around town and I'm excited to see the service grow. This is way of the future.''
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Prime Minister Ardern says encouraging the use of electric vehicles is an important part of the Government's plan for New Zealand to become carbon neutral by 2050. "It's great we could help Christchurch lead the way with this innovative car sharing scheme,'' she says.
Yoogo Share General Manager Kirsten Corson says the company is looking forward to opening up the car share service to the public. The first stage of the car sharing service has started with Hyundai Ioniq and BMWi3 vehicles now available at hubs in the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu car park, the West End car park, and at Christchurch International Airport. In April, further hubs will be added at The Crossing car park, the Ara Institute, Canterbury University, Papanui and Fendalton libraries, and the Lyttelton Community Centre.
By then there will be 100 battery electric vehicles at 10 or more hubs across the city.
"This is an exciting new transport service powered by electricity that is largely generated from renewable energy,'' says Kevin Crutchley, the Council's Resource Efficiency Manager and project manager for the scheme. "The result is a service with zero tail pipe emissions that will both reduce our city's greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, which will have positive health benefits for the residents of Christchurch,'' he says.
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Yoogo chief executive David Jenkinson said the technology is a cost-effective alternative to company cars, rental cars, taxis and even private ownership. "Imagine landing at Christchurch airport on business, just one minute walk to your Yoogo Share car, which you access via your membership card or phone. At less than $15 an hour to drive a new BMW i3 or Hyundai Ioniq - it's a no brainer," he said. "While electric vehicles are increasing in popularity, they can be challenging to adopt because of the extra cost of the vehicles, not to mention costs for chargers and installation. Sharing is a great way to enable the benefits of an EV without the hassle or cost."
Canterbury University student Matthew Knight, who has been working closely with Yoogo Share, says the idea of having all care no responsibility access to a pure EV has huge appeal to his peer group. "As a student the last thing you want is to have to fork out for a car that's going to need costly maintenance," he said. "We still want the freedom to get around - and with Yoogo Share we've got access to a cool, new and sustainable option that's more cost effective than taxis or Uber."
Source and top image: Christchurch City Council
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: IDTechEx Show! Europe 2018 External Link on 11 - 12 Apr 2018 at the Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.