Electric Vehicles Boosted Under Regional Council Plan

The Climate Action Committee of Waikato Regional Council (WRC) has recommended that a Waikato Region Electric Vehicle (EV) Working Group be established to develop a coordinated approach supporting the adoption of EVs and the expansion of charging infrastructure.  The proposed Working Group will comprise all councils in the Waikato region, iwi partners, electricity network companies, EV advocacy representatives and other stakeholders.

The Waikato EV Working Group will be requested to commission a report which recommends EV strategies, including policies and targets for member organisations to endorse.

The Waikato region is a transport corridor between Auckland and the rest of the country. Reducing transport emissions in the Waikato region will also assist the national effort. Nearly half of the country’s energy emissions come from transport. In the Waikato region, 12% of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions are transport.

Local government agencies are in the unique position of having a wide variety of levers to use in the accelerated electrification of public and private vehicles.  They can –

  • support central government initiatives which are typically financial.
  • collectively use local government’s procurement power to rapidly electrify corporate and business fleets so that these subsequently become available to the public as second-hand vehicles.
  • make the use of electric vehicles easier for owners and operators. E.g. dedicated low-cost / free parking, permitted activity status for charging facilities at relevant localities any many other options.

Greater Wellington Regional Council has already worked through a multi-stakeholder process and prepared a comprehensive advisory report.  This report recommends a strategy to ensure the Wellington region plays its part in limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.

The aim of this WRC Climate Action proposal is to develop a similar Waikato EV strategy.  It could also include emerging technologies using a range of electric vehicles from e-scooters, e-bikes, emotorcycles, and e-cars. The Wellington strategy is summarised here –

The proposal will be prepared in conjunction with the wider regional climate change responses being prepared under the aegis of the Waikato Plan Leaders Group.