EVs call in on promotional tour

Leading the Charge team demonstrate the way of the future.

Leading the Charge team demonstrate the way of the future.

Jude Francis (left) gives the Series 3 Nissan Leaf a once-over with assistance from Andrew Dudley of GVI Electric.
Tesla Model S 90D owner Greg Trounson charges up at the Gisborne EV charging station before showing interested community members in and around his vehicle.

Four luxury Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) and six other electric and hybrid cars coasted into Gisborne yesterday as part of the nationwide Leading the Charge EV road trip.

Electric Village energy champion and Gisborne event organiser Katherine Evett said the purpose of the road trip was to expose as many people as possible to electric vehicle technology.

“It’s great to see so many people come through and actually ride in or drive these cars.

“Experiencing EV technology for yourself is far more meaningful than just reading about it or watching it on YouTube.

“This is a great event, as it gives people this ‘hands on’ opportunity.”

Setting off from Bluff on March 14, the fleet of EVs drove up the country, stopping at many locations for test drive events, and will continue to Cape Reinga to finish the journey next week.

This is the third time the Leading the Charge team have arranged a nationwide tour and the first time they have stopped in Gisborne.

Better NZ Trust, who launched the roadshow, is focused on promoting what can be done at an individual and corporate level to adopt zero carbon renewable energy technology.

Trust chairwoman Kathryn Trounson said interest in the events had grown exponentially over the three years they had been road-tripping.

“We started with three people travelling in two electric vehicles and now we have a fleet of 10 with drivers and support crew.

“At every event we are seeing increasing numbers of people showing up, and what has changed is people are now actually considering what models of EV to purchase rather than just ‘having a look’.”

The developing infrastructure of charging stations has also enabled the trip to go further and to more remote localities.

ChargeNet charges ahead with plans

ChargeNet, the business installing charge stations up and down the country, now has 67 operational sites with 27 in production and an aim to have 105 by the end of 2019.

One of the many people who attended the event and took a fully electric Renault Zoe for a drive was health worker Mike Payne.

It was his first experience with EVs and he found it fascinating.

“It’s important that we all look to do what we can for the environment.

“I no longer use plastic bags and this (EV technology) is another step in the right direction,” he said.

Another potential EV convert is Tony Barnaby, who said he was committed to lower emissions.

“I just drove the series 3 Nissan Leaf, which was very comfortable, very responsive and had a great charge range for the New Zealand setting.

“It was also on my bucket list to drive an EV, so I can tick that off now.”

Tesla owner and Leading the Charge member Greg Trounson said he had owned his vehicle for two years and had nothing bad to say about it.

“I’ve clocked up 37,000 kilometres and the only issue I’ve had was with the 12-volt battery system, which runs the vehicle accessories, and this was repaired immediately.

“Tesla now have a showroom and full service capabilities in Auckland, and supercharger sites capable of recharging a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S, with a range of more than 600km, in half an hour are becoming more available around the country.”

Ms Evett said she was pleased with the turnout at the event.

“It was awesome to see so many people show up, asking questions and driving in these vehicles.

“EV technology is no longer a distant reality — it’s here now and the cost of these vehicles is dropping, which makes them worth considering.

“Gisborne is a perfect city for an EV due to it’s size and especially now that we have a fast charging station installed.”

Four luxury Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) and six other electric and hybrid cars coasted into Gisborne yesterday as part of the nationwide Leading the Charge EV road trip.

Electric Village energy champion and Gisborne event organiser Katherine Evett said the purpose of the road trip was to expose as many people as possible to electric vehicle technology.

“It’s great to see so many people come through and actually ride in or drive these cars.

“Experiencing EV technology for yourself is far more meaningful than just reading about it or watching it on YouTube.

“This is a great event, as it gives people this ‘hands on’ opportunity.”

Setting off from Bluff on March 14, the fleet of EVs drove up the country, stopping at many locations for test drive events, and will continue to Cape Reinga to finish the journey next week.

This is the third time the Leading the Charge team have arranged a nationwide tour and the first time they have stopped in Gisborne.

Better NZ Trust, who launched the roadshow, is focused on promoting what can be done at an individual and corporate level to adopt zero carbon renewable energy technology.

Trust chairwoman Kathryn Trounson said interest in the events had grown exponentially over the three years they had been road-tripping.

“We started with three people travelling in two electric vehicles and now we have a fleet of 10 with drivers and support crew.

“At every event we are seeing increasing numbers of people showing up, and what has changed is people are now actually considering what models of EV to purchase rather than just ‘having a look’.”

The developing infrastructure of charging stations has also enabled the trip to go further and to more remote localities.

ChargeNet charges ahead with plans

ChargeNet, the business installing charge stations up and down the country, now has 67 operational sites with 27 in production and an aim to have 105 by the end of 2019.

One of the many people who attended the event and took a fully electric Renault Zoe for a drive was health worker Mike Payne.

It was his first experience with EVs and he found it fascinating.

“It’s important that we all look to do what we can for the environment.

“I no longer use plastic bags and this (EV technology) is another step in the right direction,” he said.

Another potential EV convert is Tony Barnaby, who said he was committed to lower emissions.

“I just drove the series 3 Nissan Leaf, which was very comfortable, very responsive and had a great charge range for the New Zealand setting.

“It was also on my bucket list to drive an EV, so I can tick that off now.”

Tesla owner and Leading the Charge member Greg Trounson said he had owned his vehicle for two years and had nothing bad to say about it.

“I’ve clocked up 37,000 kilometres and the only issue I’ve had was with the 12-volt battery system, which runs the vehicle accessories, and this was repaired immediately.

“Tesla now have a showroom and full service capabilities in Auckland, and supercharger sites capable of recharging a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S, with a range of more than 600km, in half an hour are becoming more available around the country.”

Ms Evett said she was pleased with the turnout at the event.

“It was awesome to see so many people show up, asking questions and driving in these vehicles.

“EV technology is no longer a distant reality — it’s here now and the cost of these vehicles is dropping, which makes them worth considering.

“Gisborne is a perfect city for an EV due to it’s size and especially now that we have a fast charging station installed.”

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