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The aim of the trial of electric vehicles (EVs) in special vehicle lanes was to help inform the design and roll-out of long-term EV accessibility to special vehicle lanes. Delivering this trial also allowed the NZ Transport Agency to publicly demonstrate progress with this incentive.

The 14 day trial, held in March 2017, enabled EV access to five special vehicle lanes in Auckland controlled by the Transport Agency.

The objectives of the trial were to:

  • Test the concept of EVs in special vehicle lanes
  • Test the impact on other road users.

The trial endeavoured to enable the Transport Agency to gain a greater understanding of communications requirements going forward, and provide some qualitative information relating to the value of the incentive to EV drivers.


Overall the trial was a success, providing a greater understanding of operational requirements going forward as well as qualitative information relating to the value of the incentive to electric vehicle drivers.

Trial feedback

Information packs were sent out to 978 participants, 68 participants responded to the survey.

Of the 68 who responded to the survey:

  • 70% of respondents used the specified priority bypass lanes during the trial period. The main comments for the other 30% not participating was due to the location of lanes not being on their usual commute.
  • 78% of respondents that were able to use the lanes thought the access to priority bypass lanes improved their journey from “slight improvement” to “speeds up travel considerably”. 

Social media was monitored in addition to survey results. Feedback was mixed over the three Facebook pages reviewed: the Transport Agency, NZ EV Owners, and Auckland EV Owners pages.

Social media feedback included:

  • Great initiative
  • Would like to see more lanes
  • Would like to see blanket T2 acceptance for EVs
  • Do not include bus lanes 
  • Public transport should be a priority
  • Won’t reduce traffic congestion
  • It’s a benefit for the rich who can afford the vehicles
  • It makes no difference as everyone uses the lanes anyway.

Survey responses indicated little or no impact on other road users. EV participants noted there were other single occupancy vehicles in the lanes that were not entitled to be there.

Eighty percent of all respondents agreed if the trial lanes were made available to EV drivers long-term they would use them.

Ninety-four percent of all respondents stated if additional special vehicle lanes were made available to EV drivers they would use them long-term. Of the 94%, 19% were EV owners who did not participate in the trial.

Comments were placed on Facebook from owners stating they would like to participate, however as they lived on the North Shore there were no lanes available.

Survey results

Q1 results

Q2 results

Q2 results - answers

Q3 results

Q4 results

Q5 results

Q7 results

Q8 results