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Pink power: Blushing e-scooters jet around RNZAF base

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is trialling free e-scooters at Base Ohakea in a pinker and greener energy transport scheme.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force is trialling free e-scooters at Base Ohakea in a pinker and greener energy transport scheme.

Ten distinctive pink flamingo scooters are free for staff to use as part of a six-month trial since mid-January for the base north-west of Palmerston North.

RNZAF Corporal Huma Tysoe put forward the “random idea” after being prompted by the base commander, Group Captain Robert Shearer and supported by Warrant Officer Aaron Jeffries.

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“After researching and planning over a weekend, first thing Monday I went to work and organised to present my presentation to the Base Leadership Team,” CPL Tysoe said.

“They all loved the concept. I took on their feedback, created a minute and sent it through to the base commander.

“My workmates were so helpful, letting me bounce ideas off them as well as helping me construct a pretty awesome minute.”

The scooters use a traditional paper-based registry, have standard safety rules and are geo-fenced to limit them to the base and away from areas such as flight lines.

“From what I have seen and heard so far, they are definitely being used. An hour after the fleet arriving last month, I saw people zooming around on them which was awesome,” CPL Tysoe said.

“There have been lots of people requesting more as there are only 10 on base right now.

“There are also the health benefits as people get some vitamin D and fresh air while moving around base.”

The zero-emission scooters are cheaper to buy and run, easier to park and store; while also reducing the burden on squadron vehicles and lowering traffic volumes around the base.

A traditional squadron vehicle has emissions of 121g of CO2 per kilometre.

Group CAPT Shearer said the trial was a great initiative by Corporal Tysoe, who showed courage and commitment to pitch this to the Base Leadership Team.

“E-mobility is on the rise everywhere; it is efficient, encourages engagement, is clean, a bit of fun and makes sense,” Group CAPT Shearer said.

New Zealand Defence Force aims to reduce gross emissions by 21 per cent by 2024–25 and 42 per cent by 2029–30 as part of the Carbon Neutral Government Programme. The NZDF also operates a NZDF Electric Vehicle Project in addition to the scooters.

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