The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

VIP Transport fleet to trial electric vehicle


The Department of Internal Affairs has welcomed the arrival of an electric vehicle (EV), which will be trialled in the Crown VIP Transport fleet.

A free trial of the BMW 740Le xDrive Plug-In Hybrid vehicle has been offered, as part of the existing contract with BMW, to determine if EVs could serve as Crown cars in the near future. The EV is virtually identical to the existing VIP Transport fleet of BMW limousines.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Department to test a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, at no additional cost and with no obligation. Given that this EV has the ability to travel solely on electric power, it could offer some real cost savings alongside environmental benefits.

“We will be testing the vehicle in various locations across New Zealand and it will be trialled for as long as necessary to determine if the vehicle is fit for purpose. This will likely take between three and six months,” Manager of VIP Transport Steve Dyhrberg said.

BMW sits on the All-of-Government Vehicles Panel and is part of the New Zealand Government Procurement’s new Electric Vehicles Panel. This panel gives government agencies access to the broadest range of product available to New Zealand at prices that are exceptionally good against the recommended retail price.

“We have wanted to add plug-in hybrid and electric cars to the fleet for some time and this offer, from our current supplier, is a great opportunity to test their suitability.

“We have had some positive feedback from the initial testing and our chauffer’s are really excited about getting behind the wheel of this car more often,” Mr Dyhrberg said.

The trial supports the Government’s programme to double the numbers of electric vehicles in New Zealand every year to reach approximately 64,000 by the end of 2021.

An evaluation after testing will determine the next steps.

Guidance and information about the Electric Vehicle programme can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/ev and www.electricvehicles.govt.nz/ev

Frequently asked questions: VIP Transport fleet to trial electric vehicle


What are the specifications of the new electric vehicle?
The vehicle is a BMW 740Le xDrive Plug-In Hybrid vehicle. The specifications of the vehicle can be found online at www.bmw.co.nz/en/all-models/7-series/sedan/2015/iPerformance.html

How long is the trial period?
The trial period is for as long as necessary to determine if the vehicle is fit for purpose. This is likely to be a period of between three and six months.

VIP Transport will trial the vehicle in various locations to assess whether it meets the operational requirements of the Department and how the vehicle performs under New Zealand conditions.

The trial will determine if electric vehicles could serve as Crown cars in the near future. The trial vehicle is virtually identical to the existing VIP Transport fleet of BMW limousines.

Are there any costs involved?
No, the free trial of the BMW 740Le xDrive Plug-In Hybrid vehicle has been offered to the Department as part of our existing contract with BMW.

The vehicle is a hybrid, and not fully electric, correct?
The vehicle is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and therefore meets the requirements of an electric vehicle classification as per the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website.

Will VIP Transport look at other electric vehicle options after the trial?
Following a robust trial and evaluation process alternative options may be considered, based on the operational requirements of the Department.

Does the Department have any obligation to keep the car after the trial?
There is no obligation on the Department to keep the vehicle after the trial; the evaluation will determine the next steps.

Why does the Department use BMWs for VIP Transport when there are a range of options available?
The BMW offering was chosen for the VIP Transport fleet as a result of a competitive tender process. Of the vehicles that met the requirements, the BMW had the lowest overall cost of ownership. As part of our contract with BMW they have offered us a free trial of the BMW 740Le xDrive Plug-In Hybrid vehicle.

BMW sits on the All-of-Government Vehicles Panel and is part of the New Zealand Government Procurement’s new Electric Vehicles Panel.

If it was decided to add an electric vehicle to the VIP Transport fleet, how much would it cost?
All vehicles are leased as part of the All-of-Government Vehicles Contract which provides fit-for-purpose, safe vehicles at the lowest possible total cost of ownership across the life of the vehicle.

After the trial, and subsequent evaluation of the electric vehicle, and should the Department decide to add an electric vehicle to the VIP Transport fleet, the Department would enter into negotiations with the BMW Group New Zealand for the lease of a BMW 740Le xDrive Plug-In Hybrid vehicle as part of our existing contract.

Where can I get more information about the electric vehicle programme?
Guidance and information about the electric vehicle programme can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/ev and www.electricvehicles.govt.nz