VIP Transport fleet to trial electric vehicle
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The Department of Internal Affairs has welcomed the arrival of an electric vehicle (EV), which will be trialed in the Crown VIP Transport fleet.
A free trial of the BMW 740Le xDrive Plug-In Hybrid vehicle has been offered, as part of the existing contract with BMW, to determine if EVs could serve as Crown cars in the near future. The EV is virtually identical to the existing VIP Transport fleet of BMW limousines.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the Department to test a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, at no additional cost and with no obligation. Given that this EV has the ability to travel solely on electric power, it could offer some real cost savings alongside environmental benefits.
“We will be testing the vehicle in various locations across New Zealand and it will be trialled for as long as necessary to determine if the vehicle is fit for purpose. This will likely take between three and six months,” Manager of VIP Transport Steve Dyhrberg said.
BMW sits on the All-of-Government Vehicles Panel and is part of the New Zealand Government Procurement’s new Electric Vehicles Panel. This panel gives government agencies access to the broadest range of product available to New Zealand at prices that are exceptionally good against the recommended retail price.
“We have wanted to add plug-in hybrid and electric cars to the fleet for some time and this offer, from our current supplier, is a great opportunity to test their suitability.
“We have had some positive feedback from the initial testing and our chauffeurs are really excited about getting behind the wheel of this car more often,” Mr Dyhrberg said.
The trial supports the Government’s programme to double the numbers of electric vehicles in New Zealand every year to reach approximately 64,000 by the end of 2021.
An evaluation after testing will determine the next steps.
Catch next weekend's copy of Driven for our full review of the BMW 740e.