Govt picks BMW for new Crown cars

Govt picks BMW for new Crown cars

The Government will be replacing most of its VIP vehicles with new BMWs, which is says is the lowest cost option of the shortlist it had.

The 32 diesel BMW 730Lds will be progressively introduced from December because the current fleet of 34 were scheduled for replacement this year because their extended warranties ran out.

The two remaining cars will be kept, with the others sold off through Turners Auctions subject to the department's code of conduct and conflict of interest policies.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) says nine vehicle models from six manufacturers were submitted for the tender process and of the ones which met the Government's operational requirements, the BMWs had the lowest total cost of ownership.

Three were shortlisted.

It says the benefit of the BMWs included increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

Crown cars are used by the Prime Minister, ministers, the leader and deputy leader of the Opposition, visiting dignitaries including heads of state, the judiciary and the Speaker and deputy Speaker.

The tendering process was managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as part of their All-of-Government Vehicles procurement process.

The ministry says it won't release which other vehicles were considered in the process.

DIA says the budget for the vehicles is confidential, but the tender process meant the "best value for money over the lifecycle of the vehicle".

The Green Party says the purchase is a wasted opportunity to switch to high-end electric cars.

"The latest high-end electric cars like Teslas can travel about 400km on one charge so range is no excuse, especially given that many of the Crown fleet’s trips are just the 20km round trip from the Beehive to Wellington Airport and back," transport spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter says.

"The cost of running electric vehicles is lower than conventional cars because the cost of electricity is much cheaper than liquid fuel and electric motors have lower servicing costs."

She says the Government should be leading the way in switching to electric with transport accounting for more than 40 percent of New Zealand's carbon emissions.

The vehicles were evaluated for safety, security, reliability, comfort and suitability for VIPs and as a mobile office, compliance with emission standards, economy and the total cost of ownership.

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