Auckland Transport has added 20 electric vehicles to its fleet at a cost of about $50,000 each - about twice the price of the petrol cars they are replacing.

Mayor Phil Goff says the initial cost is more expensive but a business case has found the savings in petrol, maintenance, higher resale price and replacing 30 petrol cars with 20 electric cars make it economic.

Goff, whose mayoral vehicle is an electric Hyundai Ioniq, says it is critical that the council and Government show leadership by progressively converting their car fleets to electric to meet the country's reduced carbon-emission targets.

The purchase of 20 Hyundai Ioniq electric cars for less than $50,000 each is the largest purchase of electric vehicles in the public sector.

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The cars have a retail value of $59,900 each, much more than the price of the Toyota Yaris and Toyota Corollas they are replacing, which respectively sell from $21,990 and $31,990.

Auckland Council, which has more 1000 vehicles across the council and council-controlled organisations, receives a discount for bulk purchases.

The cost of the electric cars and 26 charging stations for future proofing when the electric fleet grows is just under $1.2 million.

The purchase of the 20 electric cars will help reduce emissions from Auckland Transport's car fleet by 11 per cent. Auckland Transport has 154 vehicles in its fleet after the purchase.

Goff said the purchase contributes to his zero-emissions target for the city centre and bus network by 2025. The first two electric buses in Auckland will be trialled on the Inner City Link service from March this year.

"Climate change is a defining issue of our time and setting ambitious zero-emission targets is the only way we will make a serious impacts on reducing our carbon emissions and contributing to the Paris Accord of 2015," Goff said.

Auckland Transport chief financial officer Richard Morris said AT planned to have an emission-free car fleet by 2025.

The first target is to reduce the car fleet by 15 per cent, the second steps is to reduce emissions of the remaining fleet vehicles and invest in electric cars, he said.