Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thoughts on the Whangarei Auckland Highway.


I have a slightly different take on transport. Commuter travel which is most of our private travel can be easily replaced by electric cars and a good commuter system if the political will is there.
Leisure travel cannot be so easily replaced by sustainable means.
However there is an argument for improving intercity highways to make freight and leisure travel more efficient. The bypass has taken a 5th off the fuel bill for an Auckland Whangarei truck. (20% reduction in emissions) At the same time replacing commuter travel with electric cars (charged by, mostly, night time spinning reserve) and decent public transport would cut emissions and cost of commuting. (Rapid rail along motorway corridors). Buses which run largely empty during the day are not actually reducing emissions. A lease model would work for supply of electric cars so commuters do not have to own two cars. As a commuter electric cars can be simple low speed models.
Freight is a problem because we have a low population density so there are no easy answers. Replacing overnight trucking with a ro-ro ship service between Auckland and Whangarei is an obvious means of cutting emissions and costs. We had a lot of buy in from local trucking firms and business when we floated the idea. Rail needs to up its game in terms of efficiency and reliability to be a contender. The Government owning the tracks and allowing anyone to run rolling stock would help. Some things do work better with competition!

Efficient low speed electric cars built of composites is an opportunity for NZ to be leader. We already lead in composite technology and original engineering solutions.

No comments:

Post a Comment