The task of getting petrol has become entrenched in our routines. Like getting groceries and paying bills, it’s something we can’t avoid and is a chore that we have had no choice but to undertake, until now.
Imagine getting to work, plugging your car in to charge and knowing you don’t have to stop and get petrol on your way home from work - sounds good right? Well, what with the recent influx of affordable electric vehicles this futuristic vision of powering your car, like you would your iPhone, is now a reality.
Since 2007 we have been measuring and monitoring our main carbon emissions impacts, and taking steps to reduce those impacts, and our data has been independently verified by Toitu carbonreduce, year on year, since 2012. As part of this process, we recognised that one of our biggest contributors to our carbon emissions is our car travel. But how could we solve this? Electric vehicles were few and far between, not to mention somewhat costly. We encouraged (and still do encourage) carpooling, public transport and good old fashioned walking, but it’s not always the most practical solution especially when we have regular site visits, often with a lot of equipment, and meetings to attend where punctuality is paramount. We knew something needed to change and up until now, an electric fleet didn’t really seem possible. Oh, how times have changed.
In 2018 we purchased our first electric vehicle, an electric Volkswagen Golf:
Whatever preconceived notions you have about electric vehicles, throw them out the window because our electric VW has absolutely exceeded our expectations and it even looks like a normal car!
Have you ever been in an electric vehicle before? We’re sure you have, but firstly there are the push start buttons, which we know are no longer a novelty, but they still seem like something out of The Jetsons, and then there’s the noise or lack of – this car is silent. Push the ignition and you do wonder is this thing on? But sure enough, put your foot on the accelerator and you are immediately propelled smoothly forward. Stopping at traffic lights or stopping, in general, is odd, where is the hum of the engine? Again, you ask yourself is this thing on? But then, in contrast, jump back in a normal petrol car and you notice the noise and the ride doesn’t seem so smooth.
Needless to say, we are advocates for electric vehicles and luckily, due to their increase in popularity, so is the rise in fast-charging EV stations which makes life even easier for us. And now that we have our own certified carboNZero power supply and our forward-thinking landlady kindly installed a charging station for us at our Auckland office, not only have we drastically reduced our carbon emissions by purchasing one, but we have also radically reduced our costs in petrol (the cost of charging an EV is equivalent to paying 30c per litre for petrol).
Transitioning to an electric fleet does not come without its challenges though, we are pleased to say we now have two, but we still need our existing larger vehicles to carry equipment, visit construction sites, and go on off-road site visits. This will be our biggest challenge in the years to come, but we intend to work at it and we’ve made a start which can sometimes be the hardest part. It’s definitely a work in progress, but good things take time, as the saying goes. We’ll keep you posted!
In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading more about we’re doing to reduce our carbon emissions check out our environmental policy or view our profile page on the Toitu carbonreduce website to read our carbon emissions reports.