A plan to transform Waiheke Island into the world's first electric vehicle-only residential island in the world has been sparked into action.
Advocacy group Electric Island Waiheke announced the bold plan today, hoping the island-wide change would be implemented by 2030.
Waiheke Island would benefit immensely, both economically and environmentally, Electric Island Waiheke spokesman Vern Whitehead said.
"Waiheke has some of the dearest petrol in New Zealand and this is hurting the most vulnerable families in our community," he said.
"Our vision is to transition the island to cheap clean electric energy for all vehicles and equipment by 2030, becoming the first major residential island in the world to achieve this goal.
"Waiheke is tailor-made for EVs with its limited roading network and short distances being travelled by tradies and commuters every day. On Waiheke the road runs out before your power does."
EVs currently make up around one per cent of the island's vehicle population, Whitehead said, or about 80 EVs to 7000 cars, trucks and buses.
For those unable to afford an EV in 2018, the number of affordable second-hand EVs will skyrocket by 2030, making the plan more probable.
"Of the 635 new or used EVs registered for the first time in New Zealand last month, a staggering 450 (or more than 70 per cent) were used imported Nissan Leafs from either Japan or the UK," Whitehead said.
"Used import Nissan Leafs are now available from around $9000 on Trade Me.
"We all know the eco benefits that having zero emission, non-polluting vehicles will bring, but our vision is also economic - for Waiheke to have the lowest overall cost of transport in New Zealand."
In six years the Government has a target to grow its EV population to 64,000 by doubling the number of vehicles on the roads each year.