Air New Zealand moves to biodiesel and electric vehicles

Air New Zealand moves to biodiesel and electric vehicles

Air New Zealand is changing its ground fleet and airport service vehicle fleet to electric, or biodiesel-powered vehicles, where an electric option is not available.

It has ordered 28 Renault Kangoo Zero Emission (ZE) Vans as part of an electric fleet order of 75 light vehicles in its ground fleet.

Australia Post started trialling a fleet of two Kangoo ZE Vans in Melbourne and another two in Sydney as part of its venture into fleet electrification in June 2014.

The airline has also confirmed orders for 36 fully electric BMW i3 vehicles for its sales force. It is also purchasing 12 Mitsubishi
Outlander Plug-in Hybrids for longer range trips.

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand head of marketing Daniel Cook says Air New Zealand is one of many corporate customers now embracing EV and petrol-electric hybrid technology.

“It’s an excellent partnership; it is very pleasing to see the national carrier adopting electric and hybrid vehicles as a practical and real-world, alternative,” says Cook.

“I think this move by Air New Zealand is the start of a longer-term strategy by New Zealand corporate companies to look at such vehicles for their fleets, the inquiry on our Outlander PHEV in the last six months has increased noticeably,” he says.

Air New Zealand says the EV fleet will save 65,000 litres of fuel annually.

It is also transitioning its airport ground service equipment to electric including golf carts and tractors.

Where electric options don’t currently exist the airline is working with Z Energy to purchase bio-diesel from its site under development in Wiri.

The Kangoo ZE is not currently available in New Zealand making Air New Zealand the first local customer for this van. The Kangoo ZE fleet will be used primarily by airport staff.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the fleet transition forms part of the airline’s commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction across the business.

“Taking a leadership position in carbon management and reducing our emissions is a significant goal for us under our Sustainability Framework,” says Luxon.

We recognise the opportunity electric vehicles present both for New Zealand and our airline, and we are making the most of the country’s renewable electricity supply by transitioning our ground fleet off fossil fuels where we’re able to,” he says.

Air New Zealand will receive the first of its new electric vehicles later this month and aims to complete the fleet transition by the end of 2016.

The airline has begun installing charging points at its key car parking sites to support the new vehicles, adding to those already installed at some of the airline’s customer parking facilities.

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