New Zealand Is Making Plans For The First EV-Only Island

Tesla Model X at Destination Charging beachside



Cities and countries around the world are looking to ban diesel and gas-powered cars. However, something unusual is happening in New Zealand. According to the New Zealand Herald, “A plan to transform Waiheke Island into the world’s first electric vehicle-only residential island… sparked into action.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A look at Waiheke Island (Image: Wikipedia / Ingolfson)

An advocacy group, Electric Island Waiheke, has announced plans for an island-wide switch to EVs. The group’s 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.”

Whitehead adds, “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.”

Above: Waiheke Island group pushes to become world’s first island to have all electric vehicles (Source: 1 News Now)

“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,” notes Whitehead.

And it’s not just advocacy groups pushing for electric cars. Politicians all across New Zealand are getting in on the action too. In another NZ city, Whanganui, CleanTechnica reports that their district councillor “Hadleigh Reid recently purchased a Model S, one of several hundred Teslas in New Zealand.” Reid says, “I advocate for EVs when possible and where appropriate.”

Above: Whanganui’s district councillor, Hadleigh Reid, and his Tesla Model S (Image: CleanTechnica via Hadleigh Reid)

Last year, “it was reported that he and another councillor, Josh Chandulal-Mackay, were working to bring an EV charger to Whanganui.” Reid notes, “The 2012 Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (HAPINZ) report found that harmful emissions from vehicles cause 256 premature deaths (with social costs of $934 million) annually in New Zealand… [so] I was shocked. Why are we not doing more about this in NZ?! We should be investing at least $1b a year to combat this to save the country $1b each year.”


Source: New Zealand HeraldCleanTechnica; Video: 1 News Now

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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8 Comments on "New Zealand Is Making Plans For The First EV-Only Island"

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German island Helgoland allows only a bike or if a car is really necessary an EV for people with a special permission. Only their fire department still is uses ICEs, because there were no fitting EVs available, when they last ordered cars.

I am sure there are a lot of other EV-only or even car-free islands already.

Mackinac Island in Michigan is the same way.

This headline is wrong, anyway. This is just an EV group with a goal. There’s no evidence of popular support or government action.

Let me know when they’re not relying on diesel ferries to bring tourists out from Auckland.

All islands from should be renewable energy only and EV’s. Yeah Hawaii, Puerto Rico and many more. Sooner rather than later.

There is no plan to make Waiheke Island 100% electric vehicles only. There is only a vision with no regulation, incentives or implementation. The world is replete with such visions but sadly lacking in action to accomplish them.