Auckland's Climate Action Plan

An all-electric economy for Auckland by 2025

Wherever an internal combustion engine (ICE), such as a car engine, is used in Auckland that vehicle emits carbon as CO2 derived from oil that was formed from buried vegetation billions of years ago when Earth was young and the Sun cooler. Climate change is largely driven by the release of this ancient carbon. We can help avoid further warming by encouraging a rapid transition away from ICE vehicles to Electric Vehicles (EV) that eliminate the the emission of CO2 while in use. Aim at a quick transition of 7 to 10 years, since adoption of EVs has already begun.  Announce your plans as soon as possible, as some other great cities have already done!  Yes, the City and Suburbs will need more power to charge the increasing number of EVs, but not as much more as you might imagine! Auckland sunshine hours are good and 3 or 4 kilowatts of  roof installed solar panels per electric passenger car would suffice. Generate the solar power as close as possible to the point of use, that is on roofs of homes where EVs are garaged, or parked, and charged at night. More solar per vehicle would be required for buses, trams, trucks and other heavy vehicles. On average this would be about 13 to 14 kilowatts of installed solar per business. At the same time fuel costs plummet when going from ICE to EV, so the average citizen would have a lot more change left in his/her pocket. Remember, costs of renewable solar power are decreasing with time, as are the lithium ion battery costs that power the EVs, so as the transition to an all electric economy progresses, so the financial advantages increase. Eliminating exhaust fumes also eliminates the human ill health that they are known to cause.  An Excel spreadsheet has been developed for New Zealand which shows the feasibility and advantages of the transition. It is available on request.

edited on 3rd August 2018, 07:08 by Jessica Channings

Jessica Channings 11 months ago

Great idea Peter!

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Nitin Prasad 11 months ago

Hi Peter,

I agree with your idea. Do you have any thoughts on how we can put this into practice?

I think that the majority of responsibility comes to the car dealers and manufacturers. So maybe promote dealers who only sell electric vehicles and provide incentives for other dealers to do the same?

I know that Mercury energy are on a mission to get to the 100% electric fleet as they're competing with Norway.

First step would be to increase awareness of companies who are already doing their bit.

The biggest problem right now is that the pricepoint of EV's is not quite there for mass adoption. That will come in the next 5 years though

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Peter Wallis 11 months ago

Hi Nitin,

Yes I do have some ideas about how to bring an all-electric economy to Auckland. To combat climate change we must reduce and then stop burning fossil fuels. Start with the low hanging fruit, namely vehicles burning petrol and diesel. Auckland's Regional Fuel Tax (ARF Tax) may reduce congestion, but it will more surely reduce fossil fuel use as people think twice about using the car and take an electric bus instead. And the higher fuel price will make someone thinking of buying an electric vehicle more enthusiastic and maybe take the plunge. Such vehicles are already cheaper to run and charge because you get more kilometers per dollar spent on fuel (electric power in this case), and because they use the power so much more efficiently. Yes they are more expensive to buy, but much cheaper to run now, compared with conventional similar sized new vehicles. Although Japanese imports of second hand EVs are now comparable in price I think.

So, all it is necessary to do is for Auckland to introduce a purchase price subsidy for buyers of new imported EVs.

We already have the ARF Tax and these funds may be sufficient to begin with, to encourage early adopters to make the change to an EV. The only condition to qualify for the subsidy would be that the buyer must live and own a vehicle within the ARF tax boundary. Similar rules to apply to diesels including heavy trucks? I think they must! But long distance haulage will not be much effected and therefor will not impact the cost of living in Auckland.

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Brandyn Duckface 11 months ago

What's better for the environment? One million, one-tonne cars to drive for every use-case? Or 900,000 ebikes, that weigh 25kg, used for short/moderate distance use-cases, and 100,000 cars for long distance use-cases and in other situations when we actually really need them? Do you understand the resource gap between these two options? It is huge.

Not everyone needs to drive long distances, or travel more than 15km from their homes. There are trains they can take their bikes on to reach the other side of the city, without congestion too.

That's another point, electric cars are not going to reduce congestion, they are just running off a different source. Nor death and injury from impact. They solve the pollution and financial problems but do we have to spend all these resources to continue a car culture, to spend it all on replacing our entire fleet? I think we should replace more wisely than this.

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Peter Wallis 11 months ago

Hi Brandyn,

Yes I understand your viewpoint! Yes it would be good for the environment if you could persuade 900,000 people to give up their cars and ride ebikes. But being practical, this is not going to happen unless there are some overwhelming incentives in place. The council should encourage ebike use, but it will be like pushing the proverbial uphill to get 900,000 car drivers onto bikes. Whereas encouraging those same drivers to replace their old car with a new / good second hand EV should be relatively easy.

That change will be approximately congestion neutral. But we are going to have electric buses!.

How popular would 'Park and Ride' be if if the 'Park' is operated with a really good frequent electric bus service into the city center? A series of strategically placed parking areas around the city margin would be needed. Each bus might take 50 or more cars off the main routes into the city in the morning and out again in the late afternoon.

Good for the environment as the bus immediately saves the emission of carbon from 50 cars going the full distance into the city. And of course reduces congestion. It would suit ebikes as well, a win-win?

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Hamish Lindop 7 months ago

Hmm, it's interesting, I think realistically if you wanted to change all the cars to ev's that would take some pretty heavy handed policy, which I am fully up for. But then to get lots of people to use bikes instead of cars, again, heavy handed policy required. It depends a bit on what there is appetite for, both actions would require huge resource commitment, as would upgrading the public transport system which would draw more people away from cars. I guess in principle more ebikes and public transport makes a lot more sense, and Auckland is very "carized", we don't know how to think in terms of public transport. I think some big investments in public transport would make sense. But then, I don't have the data and evidence behind the comparative costs and benefits between any of these possible strategies, do you guys? Wonder if we should leave that sort of thing to the policy wonks who can do desk research on that all day...

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Tim Rainbow 3 months ago

Not sure we will be able to buy new fossil fuel cars in NZ in fifteen years - Utes are the worst vehicles on our roads - I had a 3.2 ford which was a shocker under acceleration - the new EV ute designs are close to production but will be 10 years behind cars. We do need to get people to question why they need diesel utes for the family - these are the top selling vehicle in NZ and appear aggressively driven in many cases - high taxes on them and zero on EVs?

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Tim Rainbow 3 months ago

With you on this one Peter, the technology is moving on with EVs being capable of back feeding to grid if required for peak loads. Looks to me that a bus depot roof can carry about enough solar to equal the charge required by an Electric Bus even if it actually being charged part way on route mother earth doesn't mind. Habe you any experience of off grid living with EV? (or connected grid but energy neutral)

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