Sustainability stories.

We have replaced 30% of our fleet with electric cars.

Overview.

This year we have achieved our goal of converting a third of our fleet to electric, a project that has thrown up challenges and complexities but many rewards. In 2016, we added our first three EVs and joined a pledge with more than 30 organisations committing to convert 30% of our fleet by the end of 2019.

Branches and offices ranging from Albany to Invercargill have been sent 92 electric vehicles, removing almost 200 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. These vehicles will make their way into the used car market when their leases expire, making them cheaper and more accessible to all Kiwis.

We acknowledged that there is no use having a shiny new fleet of vehicles if you don’t have tools to keep them on the road. For Westpac, this meant installing 55 battery chargers throughout the length of the country - some of which will supplement the public charging facilities already available.

Electric vehicle

What drivers say a year after converting.

“Initially I hated driving electric. I’m really technologically challenged so it was the fear of the unknown and such a change,” Westpac’s business development manager in Auckland, Tania Ropati, says.

“But a year on it’s great, I have changed the way I plan my day, so the car is charged, and I learnt how to use the app, which tells you where the charging stations are,” she said.

Tania starts her day with a 220km full charge on her Hyundai IONIQ and despite not driving that distance in a typical day, features like the heater also drain the charge.

“In winter when you turn on your heater, you lose 50km, but luckily I have never run out of charge in a day. If I had to go to Hamilton or Whitianga, I would plan the trip with the Vector app, so I know where the rapid charges are. They give you 80% charge in 15 minutes for $14,” she said.

When she’s not using rapid charges, Tania charges her Hyundai free of charge at either the Westpac head office which takes an hour and a half, the Pompallier Terrace car park which takes three hours or at home with an adapter which takes 24 hours.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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