A first for ZEALANDIA and New Zealand

A first for ZEALANDIA and New Zealand 1 WEB

First fully electric passenger shuttle vans launched.

Read about the project

ZEALANDIA is a conservation organisation in Wellington that is certified carbon-zero. Each year, ZEALANDIA attracts over 130,000 visitors, with approximately half coming from overseas.

ZEALANDIA offers a free passenger transportation service. Prior to receiving funding from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, this service was provided by diesel powered vehicles.

For this project, ZEALANDIA selected LDV E80 electric vans, adapting them for passenger transportation. This required overcoming a number of technological obstacles.

While the approach Zealandia took to installing passenger seats into the back of the van is common in Europe, this was the first conversion of an electric van into passenger transportation in New Zealand.

It was also the first licensing of this type of vehicle for this purpose in New Zealand. Zealandia sourced additional information from the vehicle manufacturer, making structural adjustments to the vehicles as the weight of the batteries placed the vehicle into a different licensing category than the usual diesel van. Additional strengthening was also required in the passenger areas.

The electric passenger vans are expected to carry about 15,000 visitors to Zealandia every year.

It is estimated that this replacement will eliminate 17.75 tonnes of carbon dioxide which is 19% of Zealandia’s yearly emissions.

The project was approved for $118,137 of co-funding in round three of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.


  • When beginning a project that introduces a new technology, be generous when making timeline estimations. The final project was delayed by nearly 6 months due to changes in battery technologies (that lengthened the life of the battery to 220km per charge) and due to working out how the licensing of the vehicles would be different under a new weight class.

Find out more

EV van shuttle launched – EV talk website

Zealandia Two EV Passenger Vans – Hutt Valley LDV website