Blog Archives

EV population to reach 3m

The number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the world’s roads will pass the 3 million mark, as manufacturers go full-speed on developing and producing battery-powered vehicles.

EV-Volumes, a Swedish group focuses on plug-in vehicle sales development, including; products, prices, batteries, charging infrastructure, regulations and incentives.

They have predicted sales will accelerate next year and bring the total number of battery-powered cars on the roads to around 5 million by the end of 2018.

EV Volumes said that China, the world’s biggest market for electric cars, was in the “global driver seat” when it comes to growth. Beijing is pushing drivers to buy electric with a suite of incentives, as it attempts to tackle its climate change and fuel emission problems. 

Japan is also leading the way, owing its return to growth to the start of the Prius Prime, and with the imminent introduction of the new Nissan Leaf, sales can only go higher.

VW, which overtook Toyota as the world’s biggest carmaker in January, is among rivals who have recently set electric car sales goals, also targeting 1 million a year albeit by the earlier date of 2025. 

Toyota also said that it aimed to launch a new generation of batteries in the early 2020s that would enable electric cars to travel further, using solid-state technology that allows batteries to be cheaper, safer and offer more capacity.

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Toyota’s FY2017-18 sustainability targets

“Climate change is arguably the single biggest issue facing society today.”

This message from Toyota New Zealand’s CEO, is outlined in his foreword to the company’s 2017 sustainability report. The report outlines the company’s vision for the future of personal transportation, corporate responsibility, and ongoing strong economic performance.

The company outlines a number of environmental initiatives in the report, including a trial of waterborne paint systems at a Thames used vehicle refurbishment facility to reduce volatile organic compound emissions and continue with a hybrid battery recycling programme.

Toyota NZ CEO Alistair Davis, with Steve Maharey, former Vice Chancellor, Massey University.

Toyota also outlined new sales targets for their EV and PHEV ranges. The company will undergo a review of the new PHV Prius for NZ market and introduce 5 Toyota and 8 Lexus hybrid vehicle models in 2017-18.  They have set sales targets of 1,188 and 4,777 for these Toyota and Lexus models respectively.

“We commend the Government’s target of 64,000 electric vehicles in New Zealand by 2021.”

To assist with the uptake of electric vehicles, Toyota will rollout charging stations throughout their dealer network later this year.

Toyota has outlined plans to support the uptake of EVs in the report.

With regards to economic performance, Toyota says that while 2017 has posed its challenges, the company is expecting further growth.

“A key challenge this year was responding to the infrastructure damage caused by the Kaikoura and Wellington earthquakes,” the report says.

“Next year we are expecting further market growth across all new vehicle sales operations. Stock availability to meet this demand remains a challenge… With a number of Japanese manufacturing plants already operating at maximum capacity, we are improving the forecast modelling to assist with improved stock management.”

Toyota also notes the significant impact that transporting their goods to, and throughout New Zealand has on the company’s environmental impact.

“This year emissions relating specifically to vehicle logistics rose, and accounted for 81 per cent of our total carbon emissions. 86 per cent of this can be accredited to our inbound operations (importing to New Zealand), and 14 per cent to outbound (distribution within New Zealand).

While some savings in emissions and logistic costs have been made, it has taken longer to reach our target of 10% of vehicles discharged in Wellington, due to the implementation of the new vehicle management system and earthquake disruptions.”

The report also notes the company’s health and safety, employment and other sustainability initiatives. The 31 page report is available in full here.

Toyota notes the difficulties faced as a result of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake in transporting vehicles and parts around the country.

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Mevo gets 250k investment from Z Energy

New Zealand’s first electric on-demand car rental company has secured a quarter of a million-dollar investment from Z Energy, and will use the funds to expand its Wellington fleet to 50 vehicles.

Kiwi EV on-demand car rental company Mevo has been in operation since late last year, and provides on-demand transport with a network of hybrid Audi e-trons. members can book, lock and unlock the vehicles using the company’s app, which connects securely to the onboard security system.

The Mevo founders Erik Zydervelt and Finn Lawrence.

Mevo users can pay anywhere from hourly to yearly fees for use of the service.

Co-founder of Mevo Erik Zydervelt, said the investment from Z Energy indicates his companies vision is a viable in the long term.

“We’re excited to have forward-thinking partners who support our mission to not only lower carbon emissions, but to increase the livability of Wellington by reducing the number of cars on the road. We are leading the change in the car-sharing industry, not only in New Zealand but globally,” Zydervelt said.

Z Energy chief executive Mike Bennetts said that his company’s investment is the latest in a series of moves Z is making to provide environmentally sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels.

“We are proud to support and invest in a New Zealand company helping change how people get around.”

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First electric rubbish truck on NZ streets

Waste Management NZ is currently trialling their first electric truck for wheelie bin waste collections, which will start work on New Zealand streets from October this year.

Christchurch will be the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to put a 100% electric residential waste collection truck into service.

More electric trucks will arrive into Waste Management’s fleet in other cities around New Zealand towards the end of 2017.

Waste Management announced its move towards a fleet of electric vehicles in September last year as part of its Sustainability Commitment.

Waste Management NZ’s first electric truck.

The company has introduced more than 20 electric cars within its light fleet. It also launched an electric box body truck, which collects food waste from Countdown supermarkets across Auckland, earlier this year. This new truck will be the first electric truck which is designed and dedicated to collecting residential wheelie bins from the kerbside.

Tom Nickels, Waste Management Managing Director, says the new truck is further evidence of the company’s continued shift to EVs.

“With a large fleet of trucks and cars on the road we believe we can help safeguard our environment for future generations through the adoption of electric vehicle technology. I am delighted we’re bringing this strategy to life by rolling out electric trucks across New Zealand.”

Other logistics operators, such as Infratil NZ, have been trialling electric vehicle technologies. Their business NZ bus is testing the Chinese made BYD fully electric vehicle, in a bid to accelerate the transition to electric-powered public transport in New Zealand.

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