The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest deployment of pure battery electric cars and largest pure EV car sharing model was officially launched in Christchurch today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Yoogo Share, a bold new initiative adopted by the Christchurch City Council will see a pure EV fleet of 100 cars, ten hubs and 100 chargers made available around Christchurch. Twelve key businesses with 3,000 drivers are already working with the Yoogo Share cars, removing 115 combustion engine vehicles from their fleets. Membership is now open to private users.
Yoogo CEO David Jenkinson said the technology powering the fleet is very much the future as it provides a cost effective alternative to company cars, rental cars, taxis and even private ownership.
“Imagine landing at Christchurch airport on business, just one minute walk to your Yoogo Share car which you access via your membership card or phone. At less than $15 an hour to drive a new BMW i3 or Hyundai Ioniq – it’s a no brainer,” says Jenkinson.
“While electric vehicles are increasing in popularity, they can be challenging to adopt because of the extra cost of the vehicles, not to mention costs for chargers and installation. Sharing is a great way to enable the benefits of an EV without the hassle or cost.”
With zero tail pipe emissions and less congestion, Yoogo Share will deliver positive health benefits for Christchurch city and contribute to a smarter and renewable city.
Christchurch City Mayor Lianne Dalziel says that sustainability is at the forefront of this initiative.
“Our purpose here today may not have been in any blueprint, but it is as much a part of our regeneration as is any project that was envisaged. It is about who we are as a city – New Zealand’s 21st century Garden City putting sustainability to the fore.”
General Manager Kirsten Corson said that sustainability is also an important part of Yoogo Share’s business.
“Although Yoogo Share is a technology based mobility company, sustainability is important to us and extends beyond our pure EVs and into us contributing to our communities” says Corson.
“We’re working with DOC, supplying natives for planting in the Evans Pass recovery programme between Lyttelton & Sumner.”
In addition to helping Kiwi businesses ‘go green’, the Yoogo Share offering also appeals to millennials, who are increasingly choosing public transport and rideshare services over car ownership.
Canterbury University student Matthew Knight, who has been working closely with Yoogo Share says the idea of having all care no responsibility access to a pure EV has huge appeal to his peer group.
“As a student the last thing you want is to have to fork out for a car that’s going to need costly maintenance. We still want the freedom to get around – and with Yoogo Share we’ve got access to a cool, new and sustainable option that’s more cost effective than taxis or Uber.”
Business and private users simply sign up at www.yoogoshare.co.nz and book a vehicle. Rates are based on the minute, hour, or day, whichever is cheapest.
Users of the service can pick up a car at a Yoogo Share hub. When finished they simply drop it back to the hub and plug it in to charge.
Yoogo Share has active hubs at Christchurch Art Gallery car park, West End car park and Christchurch International Airport, with Fendalton, Papanui, Lyttleton, the University of Canterbury, Ara Institute, The Crossing and The Terrace launching over the coming weeks & months.