Air New Zealand will soon possess the largest electric vehicle fleet in the whole country — following the purchase of 36 BMW i3s, 12 Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid SUVs, and 28 all-electric Renault vans — according to recent reports.
The 36 new BMW electric vehicles (EVs) and 12 new Mitsubishi plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) will be used by the company’s sales staff, while the 28 new all-electric Renault vans will be utilized directly at airports, reportedly.
The combined fleet of 76 electric vehicles will be the largest of its kind in New Zealand, according to the company, and will offset around 65,000 liters of fuel use a year. That fuel savings is apparently enough to half-fill the tanks of a 787 Dreamliner, according to the company Boeing.
The CEO of Air New Zealand, Christopher Luxon, commented that the decision was reflective of the company’s commitment to “sustainability and carbon reduction across the business.”
“We recognize 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.”
Stuff.co.nz provides a bit more:
There may be no alternative to using carbon-based fuels to power aircraft, but Air New Zealand is switching to electric vehicles on the ground.
…Mark Gilbert, chairman of electric vehicle lobby group Drive Electric, said this month that companies wanted to buy more electric vehicles but had been left with fewer affordable options after Nissan withdrew its Nissan Leaf electric car from sale in New Zealand last year.
On that note, it should be clarified here that Air New Zealand will be importing the 28 electric Renault vans mentioned above, rather than purchasing them domestically (which is not currently possible to do).