Tag Archives: Travel choice

UC Cycle Stand Update

bikes in rowGood news for Engineering students (and others)! It looks like the existing secure cycle stand on Creyke Road will be retained, which means another 100 secure bike parks will come back on line soon.

UC’s Sustainability Office received very interesting feedback in this year’s UC Travel Survey, indicating that around 40% of cyclists prefer secure cycle stands over other kinds of bike parks. The challenge we have now is to think through the various ways that we can ensure our bike parks really are secure. For instance: Is card access the best method?

We recently saw a campus bike park system at the University of the Sunshine Coast where a staff or student card gave cyclists access to the secure bike parking, but only if they were on a register of users.

What do you think about this?
We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. You can email us at sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz or comment below.

For regular news from the UC Sustainabilty Office, connect with us via Facebook or Instagram or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Be Heard! UC Travel Survey 12 July

Travel Plan folders.indd

A unique opportunity to share your views on travel issues – 12 July.

We know that many of you are interested in transport and car parking matters here at UC.

Next week, on Tuesday 12 July, all staff and students will be asked for their views on travelling to the University, through an online survey.  This is a great chance to make a difference.

The survey only happens once every four years.  It only runs for one day – capturing a snapshot or ‘day in the life of’ travel choices.

We strongly urge you to take a few minutes next Tuesday to complete this survey when you find it in your email inbox.

How long does it take? The survey will take about ten minutes to complete.

Why should I care? This is a rare opportunity to be heard on travel issues, which only comes around once every four years. This survey is vital for gauging staff and student travel patterns. This year the University is undertaking an important transport master planning exercise, which will identify key transport needs for our community into the foreseeable future. This survey will provide key data for this planning exercise. The information gathered will help the University cater for all travel modes. Results from the survey will also inform the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury on transport matters relevant to UC –  for example, improving bus services to/from UC, improving cycle routes, and addressing car parking on campus and on surrounding streets.

How long will the survey run for? The survey will run on Tuesday  12 June only.

 

 

What’s it like to own an e-car (and drive it to uni)?

Dorien Coray regularly drives an e-car to car to campus. She has recently completed her PhD in genetics at UC, plus she lectures and conducts research for the School of Biological Sciences. She shares the car with her partner Jasper Mackenzie (also a postgraduate student from UC), who converted the 1989 Suzuki Alto from using petrol to electricity. We asked Dorian and Jasper about what it was like to own an e-car.

Why do you drive an electric car? Because it makes us cool! They are the future – the inevitable and immediate future. And it is a technical challenge.

Who built it? David Newman did the original conversion and certification. We got the car from him and did quite a few modifications. We added a new battery pack, developed a charging system, and changed the engine to a gear box coupling system. One of the challenges was the need for custom designed parts and doing it on a budget.

What are the environmental benefits of electric cars?  Obviously you don’t use as much non-renewable resources. New Zealand’s high level of renewable (low carbon) electricity (over 70%) is an ideal match with e-cars, most of NZ’s energy comes from hydro. As the price of solar goes down it is also more feasible to charge the car off your own roof, closing the energy loop.

What’s it like driving your e-car? We like that so many people want to talk to you about it. It is covered in stickers, which is a bit tacky looking, but it’s a great conversation starter. It is small and pretty fast and fun to drive. On the other hand, it doesn’t have proper heating and only goes about 45 kms before needing recharging. Living in New Brighton means you have to be a bit strategic when you go into town. Commercial models are not so limited. Tesla models have an official range of over 400 kms. Our wee one costs less than $2 to charge. Charging an e-car is currently the equivalent of being able to buy petrol at about 26 cents per litre.

What sort of facilities would you need to charge an electric car on campus? Just a 10 amp socket, though a 16 amp socket would better. I built my own charger and it works in standard plugs. Many commercial cars will require a 16 amp outlet.

Would you buy a new electric car? Yes, absolutely! With car manufacturers like VW saying that it will be cheaper to build electric in a few years and Tesla really pushing the market, it is only a matter of time. The infrastructure changes necessary aren’t that great. More charging stations would go a long way as not all e-cars will be premium models that can go 400 kms.

As the performance and range of e-cars available improve and oil prices increase on a sustained basis, it may only be just a matter of time before we see more and more electric cars on our roads. As UC’s campus changes and grows over the next few years, now is the time to consider how e-cars can be integrated into campus by providing charging facilities at suitable locations.