Whangarei District Council could save serious money if it backs a resolution by councillor Stu Bell to change it's fleet to electric vehicles and expand EV charging stations across the district.

But even more importantly the move will be good for the country and the environment, Mr Bell said, ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss the plan.

Mr Bell has presented a notice of motion that has been accepted for consideration at Thursday's full council meeting.

He will move that before June 30 the council adopt an 'electric first' vehicle policy to, as far as possible, change its vehicle fleet to full battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as its fuel powered vehicles are due for replacement.


And also that the council applies to the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable fund to assist with the development of infrastructure within the district to encourage, accelerate and support the uptake of electric vehicles by businesses and private individuals.

Mr Bell said he believed his fellow councillors would support the motion as it "just makes sense".

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is the first local body in the country to look at electrifying its entire vehicle fleet as a way of reducing climate change emissions and the Government has set a target to have 64,000 electric vehicles in NZ by 2021.

Mr Bell said he wasn't urging the council to immediately buy a new fleet of EVs, but to replace its vehicles with EVs when it is time to renew them.

Mr Bell wasn't exactly sure how much WDC's fuel bill was or how much going to EVs would save overall, but said research showed that while EVs were initially more expensive, they were very cheap to run and made huge savings over the life of the vehicle.

Greater Wellington Regional Council found that the cost of fuel for the typical life of a vehicle in its fleet was $15,000, but that would be down to $2000 for an equivalent EV.

"We have half a dozen vehicles due for replacement in the next 12 months and, if we can, I'd like to see us replace them with EVs,"Mr Bell said.

"It's also about the council leading by example in the community. EV technology is advancing so quickly and we should be taking a lead on this. It will lead to savings for council in the long term but ultimately will be good for New Zealand and our environment.


"Climate change is real and we have to think about the legacy we are leaving for our children, and their children and their children's children."

The second part of his motion, if passed, would see the council apply for funding which may see a network of EV charging stations across the district.

There are around 20 EV charging stations in Northland, including around 10 in Whangarei, although only two of those are 'fast charge' stations that can charge an EV in less than 30 minutes.