Auckland Council AIM staff Kerry Darling, Anne Pryor and Jacob Kira with the smooth new Isuzu NQR, which has been fitted out as an EV. Photo Sophie Boladeras

Waiheke has long been in the fast lane when it comes to its uptake of electric vehicles, and last week we welcomed a grunty (yet simultaneously smooth and quiet) Isuzu NQR. The EV, which is being used to collect waste from public bins around the island, is set to be joined by another two electric trucks within the year, which will be used for curbside collections. These three EVs are replacing three high-emission diesel trucks, meaning that Waiheke’s waste and recycling fleet will be almost entirely electric in 2021.

“The arrival of this truck on the island is telling us that the future is here regarding EVs,” says AIM service delivery manager Kerry Darling.

“This one is pretty powerful and it’s customised to Waiheke conditions.”

The smart new electric addition to Waiheke’s fleet of rubbish trucks is excellent to drive, according to waste foreman and qualified electrician Anne Pryor, who added she’d found it hard to stop smiling while taking the new vehicle for a spin on Saturday.

“We’re able to see how efficiently we’re driving and a few of us are having a competition to see who is the most efficient driver,” Anne told Gulf News.

Anne says that after a recent four-hour drive in the Isuzu NQR, it still had 88 percent battery power remaining – the truck can be plugged into a standard three-phase socket at the AIM facility and it takes around six hours to charge fully.

Driver Jacob Kira says the new truck is quiet, and the team says extra care is being taken when it comes to passing cyclists and pedestrians. 

Local board chairperson Cath Handley says Waiheke’s relatively small area is a perfect match for EV technology.

“Waiheke people are overwhelmingly in favour of having the cleanest environment possible and will be so pleased to see this truck literally moving us ahead towards a zero-waste future.” •Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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