Auckland looking at electric car sharing

Auckland looking at electric car sharing

electric-cars-berlin_497x260xxAuckland transport has released a request for proposal – seeking an operator to roll out a huge car-sharing scheme, using plug-in electric cars.

The proposed scheme would initially have 250 – 300 vehicles which AT will match with a similar number of car parks dedicated to care share vehicles. It’s expected that, in time, the fleet would increase to at least 500 cars.

The council suggests the costs will be borne by the private operator.

Car share schemes are based on members who pay a membership fee which entitles them to use a scheme-owned car on demand, for which they pay a per-trip charge based upon the time used.

There are already about five million people, world-wide, who are members of a car share scheme and the numbers of both users and cities with a scheme, are growing rapidly, changing transport habits in the process.

Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy says evidence shows members reduce the number of cars they own, with some giving up ownership altogether. As a result, one shared-car can replace between eight and 20 privately-owned cars, depending on the scheme and the city.

Levy says if a large scale scheme in Auckland achieved at the lower end of the scale, it could replace 2000 private cars and at the higher end, as many as 10,000.

Mayor Len Brown says says the scheme could make a significant contribution to the transport network.

“Once again, it is about offering Aucklanders alternatives – a new transport option, an alternative energy source, and if people want, an alternative to private car ownership to complement public and active transport,” Brown says.

In addition, car-sharing schemes had the potential to allow operators of large fleets to significantly reduce the number of vehicles they own.

“We estimate that Auckland Transport could reduce its fleet by between 25 and 50%, which would represent a significant saving to ratepayers,” Levy says. “All of these changes would make a contribution towards Auckland reducing road congestion and encouraging people out of private cars into alternative forms of travel.”

Levy notes Auckland already has a commercial car-share operator, City Hop. There is also a community based scheme, NZ Car Sharing on Waiheke Island. Auckland Transport has worked with both for a number of years, they are relatively small-scale operators and the RFP released today is for a large-scale scheme.

Levy say both existing schemes are welcome to respond to the RFP but even if they don’t, Auckland Transport will continue to work with them.

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