A NZ Transport Agency trial of electric vehicles (EVs) being allowed to use 11 priority bypass lanes on state highways in Auckland ends at midnight this coming Friday (September 7).
The 12 month trial, which began on 7 September 2017, ends when the bylaw enabling the trial expires. From midnight of night of 7-8 September, EV owners will no longer be able to use the priority lanes specified by the bylaw.*
Transport Agency General Manager Customer Design and Delivery Charles Ronaldson says a survey was carried out of Auckland-based EV owners to determine whether the use of priority lanes was a significant factor in their decision to purchase an electric vehicle.
“Through this survey, EV owners said that, while being able to use the priority lanes was one of many benefits of having an EV, the use of priority lanes wasn’t a significant factor in their decision to purchase an EV.
“That is, the ability to access priority lanes didn’t have any significant impact on peoples’ decision to buy an EV.”
The survey results showed that other benefits of having an EV, such as being better for the environment, cheaper to run and the perception of being an early adopter were much stronger motivators when it came to making the purchase decision, Mr Ronaldson says.
The Transport Agency is currently reviewing the policy on how priority lanes, also known as special vehicle lanes, are used around New Zealand. Insights from this trial will be incorporated as part of this review.
Mr Ronaldson says the Transport Agency wished to thank all those EV owners who have taken part in the trial over the past 12 months.
Over the next few days, drivers of EVs around Auckland may notice priority lane signage being amended in the lead-up to the expiry of the bylaw.
An EV is a vehicle that is partly or wholly powered by a battery that can be charged by connecting to an external source of electricity. Conventional hybrids that cannot plug-in are not EVs and are not eligible to use special vehicle lanes that allow for EV access.
For more information, and a full copy of the survey, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/electric-vehicles-special-vehicle-lanes/(external link)
For more information about electric vehicles visit www.electricvehicles.govt.nz(external link)
*The bylaw had allowed EVs to use the special vehicle lanes listed below: