Nearly half the University of Waikato's fleet of 150 vehicles is electric, with eight pure electric and about 60 hybrids. It is believed to be the biggest in the Waikato region.
The Vehicle Fleet Manager John Ireland says it is in line with the University’s desire to be environmentally friendly, cutting down on pollution and fossil fuel use.
“As well as trying to buy electric when we can, the University is putting a significant amount of infrastructure in place to support our own vehicles, and those of staff and visitors.”
You have to plan ahead if you want to book an electric fleet car, as the range is about 160 kilometres – so you can drive to somewhere like Te Kauwhata and back without charging. If you want to go further afield you’ll need to plan for a top-up. The UoW Tauranga campus has a charger in Durham Street, so that is an easy drive.
At the Hamilton campus, there will be two charging stations for staff and visitors near the security office, and drivers will be able to charge for up to two hours (with a parking permit).
John Ireland says staff driving the electric cars just love them. “The Nissan Leafs are very sophisticated and beautiful to drive. Don’t be scared of the new technology, they’re just as safe and easy to use as any other – and you’re helping to protect the environment while you enjoy the drive.”