Kia ora. It’s been a wet and gloomy week but Weekly Roundup’s here to brighten things up!

Cover image from Mont Royal, Montreal – read more below.


The week in Greater Auckland

On Monday, a guest post explained why biofuels aren’t the solution we’re led to believe they are.

Tuesday’s post, a guest post by Jack Gibbons, was about emissions and safety effects of the speed limit raising on the Waikato Expressway.

Wednesday’s post was about a recent wave of cancelled buses and trains.

Yesterday, we wrote about the High Court’s decision on the All Aboard Aotearoa (AAA) vs Auckland Transport and Auckland Council judicial review.


2000 PT cancellations a day in Auckland this week

Matt wasn’t wrong about the rise in public transport service cancellations that he wrote about on Wednesday. As reported at Stuff, daily cancellations reached new records this week. Winter sickness, COVID cases, and staff shortages have combined to create a perfect storm.

The number of services cancelled daily is close to 2000, up from 1400 two months ago.

The disruption is occurring mostly on bus services and amounts to one in seven of Auckland’s weekday services not running.


The next piece of the climate action puzzle

Todd Niall writes about the looming Transport Emissions Reduction Plan, which is still behind closed doors at Council, but will be released to the public in August. The TERP will spell out real actions for Auckland to take to reduce emissions from transport. Council will be voting on the plan right before the local body elections in October.

For TERP to have meaning, it will need clear councillor support – not the increasingly popular trend towards abstaining on sensitive votes.

The temptation for councillors to say “TERP is such a significant step, it must be left to the incoming council that first assembles in November” will be great.


Green Party backs trains for climate action

Fronted by Julie-Ann Genter, the Green Party has launched a campaign appealing for more investment in intercity rail networks. Their petition has racked up 3000 signatures in less than 48 hours.

Aotearoa once had an incredible rail service. In the Lower North Island, we’re fortunate enough to still have passenger train services between Wellington and the Manawatū and the Wairarapa. But in the face of the climate crisis, we can’t take this infrastructure for granted. We urge you to act now to save and rebuild the Lower North Island passenger trains.

The campaign points out that people need good alternatives to cars if we want to have a chance to meet our emissions reduction target.

As reported on Stuff, the money lost when the Government removed the fuel tax would have paid for much needed investment in lower-North Island rail services.

Stumping up the rest of the money would keep the services running and help meet the Government’s goal of reducing transport emissions by 10% by 2030, the letter said.

Genter said the first three months of the fuel tax cut cost $350m, which was enough to cover the Government’s share of the rail upgrade.


We can do better than the Northern Explorer

Depressingly, the Northern Explorer between Auckland and Wellington is getting back on track, but not in a way that’s at all useful for people who are looking for a low-carbon way to get across the motu. London-based NZ journalist Josh Martin is disappointed at the narrow focus of the service.

Tracey Goodall, general manager for scenic journeys and commuter rail at KiwiRail summed up the strategy, saying the Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine trains “serve a different market to commuter-style services, and focus on a visitor’s journey.”

The price of a trip on the explorer is definitely not designed to tempt commuters out of the plane, or even a normal family on a train-travel holiday.

Even outside of the high season, a quick quote for an Auckland-to-Wellington return journey for two adults and two children came to a staggering $1488.

A return London-to-Cornwall journey in peak summer season was $170 per adult. To go from Milan in northern Italy all the way down to Tropea on Italy’s foot in 9.5 hours, trundling past Tuscany and Pompeii as I did a couple of years back would be $210 for an adult and $670 return for a family of four.


Appreciating Wellington’s rail network

After the gloomy train news above, it’s refreshing to be reminded that there are bits of our train network that are actually doing their job pretty well.


Germany’s 9Euro train ticket reduces traffic jams

In an effort to encourage more sustainable travel, and reduce fuel consumption since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Germany introduced a ticket that allowed people to travel as much as they like for a month for just 9 Euro.

Data analysis has found that the ticket led to a measureable reduction in car trips and time spent in congestion.

An analysis by the traffic data specialist Tomtom for the German Press Agency shows a decrease in the level of congestion in 23 of the 26 cities examined compared to the time before the introduction. The data “suggests that this decline is related to the introduction of the nine-euro ticket,” said Tomtom traffic expert Ralf-Peter Schäfer. “Commuters lost less time driving to and from work in June than in May in almost all cities surveyed.”

Who knew?? Investing in alternative modes reduces congestion, making roads better for everyone!


Different needs, different trips

This infographic by Women Mobilize Women is excellent. It outlines 5 principles to help transport planners understand how transport systems should be designed to meet womens’ needs.

Historically, transport systems have been planned around a male, able-bodied norm. They therefore don’t meet the needs of women, children and marginalised groups. How can this discrimination be overcome?

Women mobilise women
Visualising trip patterns

Alec Tang shared a great diagram this week on the same topic. Do our transport systems truly meet the needs of both trips pictured here?


The week in … wet-bulb heatwaves

Even scarier than the week in flooding, we really hope we don’t have to make the week in wet-bulb events a regular feature of roundup. Wet-bulb heatwaves, the humid type of heatwaves, are a very real climate change effect and they’re becoming more likely.

Slate has a somewhat alarming explainer about wet-bulb temperatures, and about what we can do now to reduce their risk in the future. Unsurprisingly, the way we design cities and transport is a big part of the solution.

The No. 1 intervention, though, is still to reduce climate pollution, and that means cars and SUVs. Reducing car use and replacing land used by cars with land used by housing, trees, and transit will make cities cooler in the short and long terms. Regardless of what we achieve with clean technology, we have to end our 75-year, failed experiment with energy-intensive sprawl and car culture.


Designing the waterfront in the sea-level-rise era

Waterfront redevelopments changed the course of many port cities in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Transforming former industrial waterfront spaces into thriving, people-friendly civic spaces uplifted cities all over the world – including New Zealand: think of how different Wellington would be without its waterfront spaces around Te Papa and Waitangi Park, or Auckland without Wynyard Quarter and Silo Park.

But now that the reality of sea level rise is lapping at those same cities’ shores, how should waterfront spaces change? This article on UrbanLand looks at what waterfront cities around Europe are doing to defend themselves against sea level rise.

It no longer is enough to swap out barges for yachts and warehouses for sleek glass seafood restaurants. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting a sea-level rise of 3.28 feet (1 m) or more by the end of the century and at least 10 times as many violent storms, planners are taking a more defensive approach to waterfront design in the hope that they can deliver the appeal of urban life near the water without putting lives at risk.

In Rotterdam, an artificial island has been re-landscaped to become a natural part of the waters-edge ecology.

Big battery Electric SUVs will not solve our emissions problems

We’ve said it here before, and we’ll say it again: sure, EVs have a role to play in reducing transport emissions, but they’re just one slice of the whole solution. And as EVs get bigger, their potential to make a dent in transport emissions gets smaller. The 9,000 pound – that’s 4,000 kilograms – electric Hummer described in this article  about EV efficiency is quite frankly a freak of a machine that shouldn’t be legal.

The environmental impact of EVs isn’t just about the electricity generated to power each mile. The manufacturing process also causes the release of greenhouse gases at several stages, known as the embodied emissions of the vehicle. EVs in particular—with heavy battery packs—use minerals that need to be mined, processed, and turned into batteries. The pursuit of greater driving range and larger vehicles require increasing battery size, also increasing embodied emissions.

How many ebike batteries do you think we could get for the emissions of the battery of one electric Hummer?


A lifelong car enthusiast sidles into the war on cars

Love a redemption story? You’ll probably enjoy this post by a long-time car blogger about realizing that cars are actually making his life worse…


Building social hubs on Brooklyn streets

There’s so much in this deep-dive into the transformation of several main streets in the Brooklyn, New York neighbourhoods of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. The article explains how, spurred by the COVID-19 lockdowns, seven social hubs were created around the neighborhoods that have changed their streets forever.

The ‘hubs’ are all made out of lightweight, simple additions to the streets – seating, planter boxes, makeshift stoops and light shelters. But together they create a network of people-friendly spaces that have become an essential part of this community.

Until recently, we’ve observed a steady nibbling-away at a historic past. Unfortunately, this resulted in a decreasing sense of place. We lost precious stores: two book stores; multiple local pharmacies. Then, we got new buildings that had no sense of contribution to the historic street life. These replaced older ones that had helped our communities to be a place with a unique character, reaching back to the 1830s when these two communities were laid out.

Some of the things that have defined the transformation of these Brooklyn neighborhoods into places characterized by social hubs have been the attention to corners and intersections and the addition of many types of amenities. Together, these trends have created a new future for these neighborhoods.

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Incidences of community

We loved this article about the the effect that the physical shape of a neighbourhood can have on one’s quality of life, and sense of the community. The author, an American, compares a neighbourhood full of human interactions in his adopted European home with the places he grew up in.

I’ve come to understand my little European neighborhood as a community. It’s an old neighborhood. Say the name, and everyone understands. It’s been a haven for artists and intellectuals and musicians for…centuries now. It’s that kind of place. But there are a lot of neighborhoods like that, and they don’t have to be like that, either. To have this special thing called community.Life in America is the polar opposite. Nobody stops to have such chats. To interact. I go to the cafe. The one I go to multiple times a day every time I’m back. They pretend not to know me. Nope, never seen you before, vampire looking guy in the leather jacket and boots with the incongruously ridiculous tiny white dog. I go to the other cafe I’ve been going to for years. Same deal.

Places that provide us with these small moments of connection are humanising places: they help us form real relationships with the people around us, to see each other as members of the same community. They help us have a stake in each others’ lives.


Transformative potential in city streets

The de-car-ing of city streets continues to deliver inspiring transformations for communities all over the world.

First, a simple carpark reallocation…


Next, Berlin’s Fiedrichstraße is now carless…

https://twitter.com/fraukrone/status/1508743954304491523?s=21&t=w7V5-j_kCx4YffgyRlZWLw

Mont Royal, a central street in Montreal’s Mile End district…

… has become a glorious 2.5km long public living room.

Car-free Mont Royal. Image via Twitter.
And a central street in New York’s Little Italy neighbourhood…

…has swapped car parks for people space.

https://twitter.com/philritz1/status/1545983306709311490

Meanwhile, in Paris… super-neighbours in a super-neighbourhood!

As reported in the Guardian, there’s a revolution in the streets of Paris. But not that kind. A street dinner in 2017 led to a transformation of a whole district, and the lives of the 15,000 people within it:

The revolutionaries pledged their allegiance that September day in 2017 to the self-styled République des Hyper Voisins, or Republic of Super Neighbours, a stretch of the 14th arrondissement on the Left Bank, encompassing roughly 50 streets and 15,000 residents. In the five years since, the republic – a “laboratory for social experimentation” – has attempted to address the shortcomings of modern city living, which can be transactional, fast-paced, and lonely.

Almost five years on, the social transformation continues, with locals working towards shared goals of environment, healthcare, public spaces and mobility – and generally just getting together, looking after each other, and being awesome:

Nearly 2,000 people now attend weekly brunches and apéritifs in local restaurants, cultural outings, memory exchanges, children’s activities and more. During the pandemic, residents mobilised to make masks, deliver shopping to vulnerable neighbours and bake cakes to support a local charity.

They’ve also reclaimed public space so people can gather, under the delightful name Place des Droits de l’Enfant, “The Square for Children’s Rights.” What do you reckon: is Aotearoa ready for some super-neighbourhoods with children at the heart?

The new public square was inaugurated on a sun-kissed day of homemade food, live music, ecological board games for children and compost sharing. “Here, people have time to talk,” says Patrick Touzeau, 46, who moved to the area with his three children in 2018. “It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a collective effort. The benefits don’t happen straight away, it takes time. But I think that this concept should be everywhere.”


English mayors practicing people-first politics

In a wide-ranging interview on The Guardian, six mayors of English cities, including London’s Sadiq Kahn, make a convincing case for city-level politics being where real innovation and progress can be found. Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees argues for mayors to have a bigger role in shaping policy –

If I was a government minister, whenever I wanted to do something new, the first thing I’d do is ask the 11 core cities to meet me. In many ways, the world has outgrown the current model of governance, which is an over-reliance on national government, but I don’t think national government has caught up with that fact. The new model that we need to move into is one that has mayors as equal partners in shaping policy.


It’s a summer of bikes in London, too

Move over Paris! London’s bike boom has happened in little more than 2 years. There must be well over fifty people on bikes moving through a single intersection in this 30 second clip.

https://twitter.com/cyclinglawldn/status/1546785172422623232


Auckland’s secret underground tunnel

Wonder how many GA readers will know about Auckland’s 20 year old underground tunnel that travels from Hobson St to Penrose – it’s even got its own train. This tunnel is not, of course, the CRL or even ALR. It’s a Vector tunnel, carrying a third of Auckland’s power in huge cables.

Tunnel construction started in 1997, and included driving two massive tunnel-boring machines inward, towards each other from opposite ends.

To give an idea of the sheer size of the operation – the boring machines were roughly the length of two rugby fields each.

“Hole-through” – where the two machines finally met within millimetres of exact alignment – occurred 100m below Khyber Pass in January, 2000.


Hungry?

We don’t endorse KFC, but we do endorse this map.


Kia haumaru tō rā whakatā – have a safe and restful weekend – and see you next week.

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61 comments

  1. I did Wellington to Auckland5 years ago. It was a beautiful day which made for a pleasant but not stunning trip. Foreign tourists less familiar with the scenery would probably enjoy it more.

    But man was it slow. Had to be at Wtn station at 7:00 am to arrive in the Strand at 5:30. Train was probably 3/4 full (in late March). It was well done but it definitely wasn’t a viable alternative to car or plane. Much more expensive than car and slower. Comparable price wise to the plane but sooooo much slower.

    I think they should look at overnight services. I would definitely consider something that left Auckland at 9:00 pm and arrived in Wtn at 7 the next morning. Refreshed after a good sleep rather than be up at 5:00 to catch an early flight to the capital

    “In many ways, the world has outgrown the current model of governance, which is an over-reliance on national government, but I don’t think national government has caught up with that fact. ”
    Certainly NZ governments of either hue haven’t cottoned on to this. The biggest growing employment sector seems to be central government bureaucracy. Labour is doubling down on removing local democracy and centralising everything cause nanay knows best.

    1. From taking the old overnight train, you don’t get much sleep. Too noisy or too cold. Day trip for tourist is ok. If you want cheap, then overnight bus but be prepared to be uncomfortable and potentially need several hours of massage/physio/chiro afterwards.

      1. The train doesn’t have to take that long, the fastest run between Auckland and Wellington by rail was a shade over 8 hours in the 1960s, pre electrification curve easements, deviations etc. A little money would go a long way.

        1. I think you are unfortunately mistaken. There was once one trip this fast in the 1960s using a railcar, on an empty track at the weekend. Regular services were at least 11 hours. Trains became faster with the DX locomotives, the Silver Fern railcars (which had fast acceleration and higher speed limits on curves) and improvements relating to electrification. The fastest regular times were probably in the 1980s with the Silver Ferns after electrification. The trains then became slower as track conditions deteriorated and the Silver Ferns were taken off.

        2. Here is a link to a special 11.5 hour train in 1960.

          “Shows Minister for Railways Michael Moohan standing on rail tracks and gesturing to the Da1436 diesel electric locomotive stopped at Palmerston North railway station, on a return trip from Auckland to Wellington. Locomotive has sign on front ‘Wellington Auckland Ministerial Train 11 1/2 hours 16-18 Feb 1960’. Refers to the record breaking Wellington to Auckland rail trips made by the ‘Moohan Rocket’ special ministerial train. ”
          https://digitalnz.org/records/30629052/michael-moohan-minister-for-railways-in-front-of-record-breaking-moohan-roc?from-story=null

      2. Arum, your experience of the overnight train is not everyone’s. I travelled several times on the “northerner” prior to its cessation in 2004 and always slept well. Admittedly I am a person who usually has more trouble staying awake than getting to sleep, but I always found it comfortable and I arrived refreshed at my destination (which was sometimes an intermediate station, not always Auckland or Wellington). I long to see this service return. And many others like it.

  2. All these examples of reducing car-parking and making spaces more pedestrian friendly are great to see. It always makes me bit sad when such is suggested in NZ and the majority of people (or maybe just the loudest minority) suggest that NZ is somehow different and that wouldn’t work here.

    1. There’s always overwhelming support for the closure of queen street to cars, yet it never happens, endless fiddling around the edges. The series of Innovating Streets projects were also all ripped out as soon as possible by overzealous transport agencies such as AT.

    1. Seems like a reasonable idea. I would change the buses so Dominion and Sandringham are one route that loops around at Walters Road. Both services would transfer to LR to get to city. As the LR is built further along Dominion, the place they loop around could be pushed further back too.

    2. It just doubles up on the crl with a station close to aotea, then a station close to karangahape then a station next between Mt eden and Kingsland. Auckland is a big place. Could possibly look somewhere else or at least go east west across the city with a station that transfers onto crl Station.

      1. Whatever you build is going to have some overlap with the CRL stations as things get into the city. The good bit is this does allow transfers fairly easily. Perhaps even a tunnel between the K Road stations.

        One idea I looked at was having a line on Sandringham Road that terminated at Kingsland. Feedback was that this was bad cause it limited capacity and you also had to add transfer time.

        There are a lot of options for future lines. This is just intended as a small start to the first one.

        1. Why don’t they weave a track down grafton gully and have university Station right up next to the engineering school somewhere near symonds st/Wellesley st. And then it hooks around behind k rd through spaghetti junction to provide a transfer to k rd station and then wherever after that. At least that would provide a separation between the crl and the new line. People can make a meaningful transfer at k rd instead of transferring to save 150m walk.
          After the university station it would continue to intersect/transfer with a strand station that should be on the eastern line and then carry on down tamaki drive perhaps

        2. Why do you want separation, lots of people want to go to the CBD.

          Having light rail from the isthmus to aotea is no more ‘doubling up’ than the western line and the southern line both going to Aotea.

        3. In response to Ricardo.
          The city end of the light rail plan has 4 stations all within a couple of hundred meters of crl stations at Britomart aotea, k rd and dominion rd/Mt eden.
          Better to have a planned network with coverage and transfers rather than 2 expensive lines that replicate 4 stations in a row.

  3. What happened to the reopening of the SOL? Things have gone very quiet on that.I thought it was one of Kiwirail’s objectives.

    1. I fear that the departure of Greg Miller as KiwiRail’s CEO may mean the impetus for reopening the SOL has been lost. Let’s hope this is only temporary.

      1. It would be nice but it would probably be billions. It would make NPLYM or WHRRA to TGA or AUCK a one day trip to load in the morning and have it at the port by evening.
        Would also provide a second route auck to wgtn as most issues with slips etc that close the NIMT occur in that central North Island region so this could bypass that.
        A lot of money for that though.

  4. In the herald today “Auditor-General says it will cost $5.5 billion to enable Auckland’s City Rail Link to open and likely to rise”
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auditor-general-says-it-will-cost-55-billion-to-enable-aucklands-city-rail-link-to-open/PPFW7PDZXOYBFCEQBFPQYMULIU/

    On speed limits, do we propose to lower limits to no more than 70-75km/h? If a higher number is “ok”, then 110 is common overseas as are higher speeds, 120 and 130. A limit based on emissions sounds good but likely makes policing harder

    1. Speed limits on a commuter rail line that stops every few km are pretty irrelevant really.

      During the 2020 rail disaster they were going half speed, my 45 minute train trip became 55 minutes.

    2. I don’t think there is really a proposal, we just need to optimise between safety emissions and connectivity on each example. Unfortunately that isn’t really how limits are being set at the moment. Waka Kotahi have not revealed almost any of their evaluation for the 110 limit on the expressway for example. I have an OIA in now.

      Mostly its political, central government ruled with the iron fist of 100 country, 50 in town for decades. For lowering now, they’re just trying to get as much done as possible where the case for lowering is very strong. Which I buy. The 100 limit was never really viable on most of Auckland’s rural roads for example, and certainly not now with massive driveway densities and much higher traffic.

  5. Whenever I see someone talking or writing about “communities” here in Auckland I am thinking you should not use words you don’t understand.

    I don’t know if this is a big city vs small town thing, or if it is a Anglophone vs Europe thing, but I am not expecting to ever encounter any actual community in Auckland.

  6. I am hoping that cheaper fares will be made available for the Northern Explorer closer to its relaunch date. I expect the initial price may just be to access demand it was certainly cheaper before pre covid.
    Te Huia is running with 5 carriages this week usually only 4. So there is a least another train set sitting around at Te Papa given there were three four car train sets refurbished. I wonder how they could be used if it is decided to stay with the current two trains per day each way service. I can’t see why they couldn’t be used for another Auckland Wellington service but I also considered a pocket rocket two car train to provide additional service around the Waikato to Te Awamutu, Morrinsville and Matamata even Tokoroa if suitable locomotives could be made available. Kiwirail has ownership but I imagine the Waikato Council would have a say in how they are used. Still I can’t imagine there being much demand but then the doubts about Te Huia patronage are being proved wrong daily.

    1. Does that mean that the concept that replacing the ADL’s with something similar to build demand at the edge of the electrified network is worth pursuing?

      1. I thought about the ADL,s they will be out of use next months. However there getting pretty elderly. The budget allocated money for new locomotives which could be used for mainline shunts and passenger trains they should be double cabbed. It makes things so much easier for instance Te Huia wouldn’t require two locomotives.

  7. After a couple of years of repairs on the Eastern Line from Otahuhu to Britomart the train now speeds along at 110 km/hr for most of the journey. It’s a fast smooth trip.

    1. Phil, Alec showed you how you have been fooled into the idea of car freedom, and that you are being deprived choice, forced into a one-mode model, and all the negative outcomes of that.

      But I am not surpised you missed it.

  8. My guess is the TERP will be written by well meaning people who know little about other people’s cost structures and choices and what their opportunities to reduce carbon actually are. At best it won’t make any difference, most likely it will put up costs and at worst it will push people into doing something more expensive that increases emissions.

    1. So we should drastically improve public transport and create walkable neighbourhoods so people can easily choose a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and safe tons of money not having to drive everywhere? I agree!

      1. Yes I am sure they will claim something like that. The folk who currently drive because their work isn’t in the CBD will then face additional costs and maybe move even further out and emissions will increase. But the people who wrote the plan will have moved on by then so they won’t be held accountable.

        1. Good public transport allows other destinations than the CBD. Good public transport reduces individual VKT, freeing the streets for those that really have to drive. Good public transport (and walkable neighbourhoods) allow kids to go to school (or sports, or friends) on their own, saving time for parents.

        2. Yes but will it ever provide for the multitude of trips that people in Auckland have to make? Does anyone sensible want to actually ride a bus or train in the next 3 to 5 years or how ever long it takes to develop multivalent vaccines?
          Assuming the answer is yes when the reality is no isn’t going to reduce emissions by even one tonne. But it could well increase them.

        3. I take the bus multiple times a week and it is often quite crowded – sometimes to an extent that additional transport at that time would be nice.

    2. My guess is the TERP will be written by well meaning people who know far more about other people’s cost structures and choices and what their opportunities to reduce carbon actually are than miffy does. At best it could transform Auckland, certainly it would be hard to create a system more costly, inaccessible and polluting than the one we have. It’s a good thing there are people with the faculty of imagination; that’s how we solve problems, even if miffy is inexplicably defensive about the problems not really being problems because he’s OK with them…

  9. All these cities creating car-free streets for pedestrians, cyclists, etc. and Auckland can’t manage a single one. There have been proposals to make Queen St car-free for decades, the lack of action has made me give up any hope for change in this city.

    (I don’t consider the recent change to a single block of Queen St relevant, since privately owned utes can still drive through there without incurring a fine.)

  10. NZ Herald is saying CRL will now cost $5.5billion and required a further $7.5billion spent elsewhere to realise the capacity benefits.

    1. And 5 hybrid ferries are being purchased, rather than full electric. Wellington has a full electric cross harbor ferry, why can’t Auckland?

  11. NZTA have used up more sick leave in the past month than they had in the past 2 years.

    Same for a lot of the Tier 1 contractors. Combination of Covid and Flu.

    We are going to see a lot of 2022-23 programme blowouts from this.

  12. It would be useful to devote 5 minutes of your time on this new plan for using hydrogen in dual fuel vehicles. 60 percent diesel 40 percent hydrogen. This is HWR a New Zealand transport company initiative. Another company (Fabrum) is supplying the electrolyser/fuelling station.
    https://www.hwr.co.nz/hydrogen
    https://fabrum.nz/green-hydrogen/
    I can see a lot of logic in this, particularly the distributed stand alone electrolysers/fuelling station which won’t require high voltage big transformer grid connections also expensive fuel cell trucks won’t be required however I expect the economics will depend on the cost of electricity. Still a 40 percent reduction in heavy transport emissions would be welcomed.

    1. Using hydrogen for road transport is a dead end, Royce. It requires 3 times the electrical energy than that required for BEVs. That is not going to change significantly as it is due to fundamental thermodynamics.

      For the hydrogen to be “green” the additional electrical energy required for the additional load of electrolysers would have to be 100% from renewable sources. For a given task, therefore, 3 times the renewable energy generation would have to be built compared to going down the BEV route.

      The way I see it trucks will have interchangeable batteries and rail will take a lot of the long-haul away from trucks.

  13. I think it is great Auckland Transport is independent of Auckland Council – it stops political cronyism

  14. The Governments decision to extend the fuel tax relief until January is bizarre, it makes the Auckland fuel tax levy into a punishment for living in Auckland,not a means of achieving transport improvements. The climate change levy ,proposed by Auckland Council,should also be rescinded as ,it is equally a punishment on Aucklanders ,while Central Govt hands out,tax relief to the rest of NZ.

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