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23 November 2018 Chloe Brigden

This year’s NZI Sustainable Business Awards celebrated the fantastic collaboration amongst New Zealand’s thought-leaders and world changers.  

WSP Opus sponsored the Smarter Transport Award Category – in support of the brilliant and innovative projects that aim to mitigate the impact of the emissions of traditional transportation modes.

Head of Smart Mobility, Louise Baker says: “While 80% of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable sources when we look at the statistics for all energy (including transportation) the figure drops to 40%.  It’s important that corporations get behind initiatives that will benefit our wider communities.”

This includes electrifying the transport system and shifting to sustainable modes such as public transport, walking and cycling. 

Enter award winner, YooGo Share, New Zealand’s 100% electric vehicle (EV) sharing service. Launched in Christchurch in February 2018, Yoogo Share offers pure electric cars from eight locations across Christchurch and now, two central Auckland locations.

Targeting three elements of smart mobility; reduced congestion, reduced environmental impact and improved vehicle utilisation – YooGo has a growing fleet of 102 EV cars.

The NZ company focuses on driver education and public accessibility, offering a 24-hour customer service support line and its own charging infrastructure to ensure cars are fully charged for the next user.

Since hitting our roads, YooGo has saved 40 tonnes of carbon in Christchurch alone.

Other Smarter Transport finalists were:

  • Civic Contractor, which has set a goal of 250 EV’s by 2025
  • Enviro NZ, designers of New Zealand’s first electric powered waste vehicle
  • Mevo, provider of premium. affordable car-sharing service 
  • Tranzit Group, operator of New Zealand’s first commercially operated public bus

Waste Management NZ, New Zealand’s first diesel to EV truck conversion workshop received the judges highly commended award in the Smarter Transport category. 

According to Louise, it’s imperative that urban planners and decision makers understand how people will move around future cities. She says that WSP Opus’ role in this area is in the advisory and design space.

“Ultimately, we aim to support national initiatives by offering advice and insights in areas such as mobility for cities, planning infrastructure for future transport modes, designing the systems so that these modes are accessible to all and encouraging people to change their behaviours around their transport choices.

“In 2019, we hope to see the momentum for shared transport grow, especially as Auckland Transport develops its Shared Mobility Roadmap. This year there were a record number of entries to the Smarter Transport category and, with policy and leaders all pointing the way for better transport, we can only expect the momentum to continue to grow in the next year and beyond”  - Louise Baker