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New Zealand City Launches Electric Car-Sharing Service

New Zealand City Launches Electric Car-Sharing Service

Within several years, auto companies worldwide are launching fully-electrified lineups, and New Zealand’s third-largest city wants in on the action. Christchurch, NZ debuted an electric car-sharing scheme involving 100 cars dispersed amongst 10 regional hubs.

In what the NZ Herald is dubbing the “largest transition from combustion engines to pure electric shared vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere,” Kiwi fleet management company Yoogo will initially serve the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu car park, the West End car park, and the Christchurch International Airport, where travelers can rent Hyundai Ioniq and BMWi3s starting in November.

From there, Yoogo will open hubs in Lichfield Street car park, The Crossing car park, Ara Institute, Canterbury University, Papanui and Fendalton Libraries, and Lyttelton the Community Centre.

It should be noted that the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the EPA’s most efficient vehicle at 136 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (while the BMW i3 has a respectable electric range of 81 miles), so Yoogo’s program is off to a good start.

And Christchurch is thrilled.

"An electric car sharing scheme is an exciting initiative for our city," said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. "The fleet will deliver improved environmental and health outcomes and we are proud to be the first city in New Zealand, and one of the few cities internationally, that has an electric car sharing service."

“Using a transport service with zero tail pipe emissions will improve air quality and have positive health benefits for the residents of Christchurch,” noted Kevin Crutchley, the city council's resource efficiency manager and scheme project manager.

A model for the US? We have plenty of rental car services but nothing that’s fully electrified, and our congested (and polluted) cities could use more EVs.

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