A year-long trial allowing electric car owners to use the priority lanes on Auckland’s State Highways has been abandoned.

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It was part New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) temporary bylaw aimed to see whether motorists would be encouraged to buy electric cars if they had access to priority lanes.

For a year, electric car owners were allowed to use 11 priority bypass lanes in Auckland.

But NZTA said a survey of those car owners showed while the use of the lanes was one of the “many benefits” to owning an electric car, it was not a significant factor in their decision to buy one.

The survey showed that other benefits such as being better for the environment, cheaper to run and the perception of being an early adopter of electric cars were stronger motivators.

An electric vehicle is partly or wholly powered by a battery that is charged through connecting to an external source of electricity.

Conventional hybrids that cannot recharge were not eligible.

The trial ended at midnight and will not be continued.

The Agency said it would continue reviewing the policy on priority lanes.

“Insights from this trial will be incorporated as part of this review,” NZTA spokesperson Charles Ronaldson said.



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