Electric vehicles on show at Bayfair

The BMW i3 was one of many electric vehicles available for members of the public to test drive at Bayfair today. Photos: Ryan Wood.

Bayfair Shopping Centre had more electric vehicles than usual on site today when the #LeadingTheCharge road trip came to town.

The visit was part of a national tour of electric vehicles organised by the Better NZ Trust, which seeks to promote uptake of EVs among New Zealanders.

Better NZ Trust chairperson Kathryn Trounson says it is part of a wider push for New Zealand to embrace zero-carbon technology.

“Driving an electric vehicle is one of the best things individuals can do to help the environment,” she says.

The road trip began a fortnight ago in Invercargill, and will continue on to Auckland for the weekend, before the final leg of the trip to Northland on Tuesday.

In the past two weeks, Kathryn says 260 people have tried driving one of the electric vehicles taking part in the road trip, with many more taking rides as passengers.

SunLive took the BMW i3 for a spin around the side streets of Arataki, and found it to have excellent acceleration. However, unlike other automatics, there’s no forward momentum for the i3 simply by being in ‘drive’ – the car only moves with the foot on the accelerator. And the foot has to stay on the pedal the whole time – as soon as the driver lifts it, the car comes to a halt a few seconds later without the need for brakes (depending on the speed).

It’s great for those who want a highly-sensitive, responsive vehicle, but would definitely require a change in driving style for those used to a petrol/manual combination.

Bayfair Shopping Centre manager Steve Ellingford says the shopping centre is all about embracing green initiatives.

“A couple of years ago we decided to put in some EV charging stations for customers to use,” he says. “It’s about being ahead of the curve – we know there will be growth in this market. When we installed the charging stations there were around 830 registered electric vehicles in the country. Now, there are 6884.”

Bayfair has an electric vehicle charging station on the ground floor of their parking building, which is free to use and takes a couple of hours to charge. Steve says it is in use most weekends.

Powerco also has a charging station at the same location, which will charge vehicles much faster, but must be paid for.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority estimates that using a residential off-peak electricity rate means electric vehicle owners can charge their EV for the equivalent of 30 cents a litre.

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Only part of the story....

Posted on 30-03-2018 08:32 | By groutby

....further to the facts stated by GreertonBoy, it is estimated that we will need around 50% more electricity generation to power these vehicles if all take the place of Petrol and Diesel units. If indeed our current electricity generation (mainly Hydro) is already ’maxed out’, then where do we get this power from?..well coal of course!..crank up Huntly’s turbines and build new ones...ain’t gonna happen is it?....furthermore, if we expect to recharge our EV’s overnight at home, the power drawn (Amps) required is way to much for the typical domestic installation, so, serious wiring upgrades will be required in every home.. (who clips the ticket for this?)...furthermore..we would need to shut down Tiwai Point Smelter to save electricity..AND upgrade the Cook Strait cables to handle the power up to mainly Auckland...$$billions folks!...do look into this, the EV is NOT the wonder manufacturers and Greenies want you to think...

Not to mention....

Posted on 29-03-2018 13:52 | By GreertonBoy

the manufacture of electric vehicles is very costly to the environment before it ever gets put on the road. The EV’s footprint is in its construction and that of the battery, so if an EV falls off the truck on the way to the dealer and is never used, it has already created the footprint that would take a petrol vehicle 10 years of use to create. So, if a petrol vhicle is destroyed before use, it never gets the chance to make its footprint as big as that of an EV.

Electric cars are not green?

Posted on 29-03-2018 12:51 | By GreertonBoy

Something has to make the electricity, often it is from burning coal, some wind turbines and solar, but solar is not reliable and wind turbines create a footprint in their construction (and are ugly). Electric cars always carry the lump of batteries around (maybe 400Kg) everywhere they go, whether charged or not, same weight... electric cars are a fad. As usual, we will pay big to support a minorities need to feel good about themselves by pretending to be acting in the best interest of the environment.

False savings

Posted on 28-03-2018 23:22 | By Ubique

barrel of oil produces 47% petrol23%diesel18% other products10% jet fuel4% lpg 3% asphalt So these greenies dont fly Etc are they going to burn the gasoline byproduct. For get electric cars get real people

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