Meridian Energy commits to converting 50% of its fleet to electric vehicles by June 2018

Meridian Energy GM Retail Neal Barclay

Meridian Energy is converting 50% of its vehicle fleet to electric by June 2018 and is encouraging other New Zealand businesses to do the same.

The 100% renewable energy company has always been committed to protecting the environment and knows that one significant way New Zealand can make a difference by reducing fossil fuel use is to go electric with transport.

Meridian now has 20% of its fleet electric and a commitment to reaching 50% by the middle of next year, and is looking to increase this further in the future, as more models that suit the company’s diverse needs become available.

There are around 3,000 electric vehicles in New Zealand and through focused efforts from government and businesses to grow charging infrastructure and awareness, and with an increase in the choice of electric vehicles (EVs) available, the environment is right for growing uptake.

Neal Barclay, General Manager for Retail at Meridian says, “There’s an opportunity for organisations like ours to build EVs into their fleets, and over time these corporate initiatives will help increase vehicle availability and affordability for everyone.”

It’s widely accepted that electrifying transport is one of the big opportunities New Zealand has to reduce its emissions. With around 88% of the country’s electricity coming from wind, water and geothermal it’s only natural Meridian Energy, that generates electricity only from renewable sources, sees the opportunity to grow the use of New Zealand’s clean fuels.

“Meridian’s role is to demonstrate the benefits of going electric. We’re supporting our customers that drive EVs with sharp overnight charging rates, we’re helping provide vehicle charging infrastructure and we’re working with like-minded organisations to encourage more people to experience EVs,” says Neal.

“It’s exciting that the time is right and the commercial case stacks up to grow Meridian’s EV fleet.”

“Everybody knows that it would be good for the environment to get more petrol cars off the road, but there has to be business value that replacement EVs provide, or the solution isn’t sustainable,” says Neal.

Meridian has partnered with Hyundai to introduce the fully-electric Hyundai IONIQ to help electrify their fleet. The Hyundai IONIQ provides Meridian with the range needed for most of its urban travel needs with a range of over 200km.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager, Andy Sinclair says teaming up with Meridian ramps up New Zealand-market EV momentum significantly. The IONIQ, launched at the beginning of the year, has enjoyed a warm reception among Hyundai’s customers. It enhances the profile of EVs in New Zealand, particularly when adopted by energy supplier Meridian.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer Meridian the all-new Hyundai IONIQ for their own fleet at the same time as it becomes available to the public. IONIQ is the newest EV on the New Zealand market and uses the most up to date powertrain technology to deliver an excellent drive and performance. The result is a modern, stylish EV that takes an important step forward for the industry.”

“Like us, many businesses may have preconceptions as to whether EVs will work for them. We’d encourage all businesses to go on this journey and check it out, as while we were convinced this was the right decision the commercial case for Meridian was much more compelling than we first imagined,” says Neal.