Electrifying NZ

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The Better New Zealand Trust is bringing a convoy of electric vehicles to Oamaru this month to raise awareness about electric transport.
To inform the public more about its activities promoting zero-carbon renewable energy technologies, the trust will hold its annual Leading the Charge road trip on April 6-22.
Four electric vehicles will drive from Cape Reinga to Invercargill, while others will join them for various sections along the way.
As there are limited numbers of charging stations in New Zealand the vehicles will be charged at camping grounds for most of the journey.
The vehicles are scheduled to arrive in Oamaru on April 20. They will be parked up at Steampunk HQ with trust members on hand to answer questions about electric vehicles.
Timaru’s Martin Kane is co-ordinating the leg from Timaru to Oamaru.
He drives a Nissan Leaf, which can cover 100km on a full charge, and said while he also owned a petrol-powered vehicle, he would never use it for commuting around town again.
“I’ve owned mine since last June and I’ve only had to fill my petrol car’s tank twice since then. About 30 to 40 cents a litre would be the equivalent cost of running an electric vehicle.”Fuel savings and no emissions were just two benefits of an electric car, Mr Kane said. Service required was minimal and restricted to replacing brake pads, the occasional tyre and software upgrades for its on-board technology.
According to the Better New Zealand Trust website, there were 1057 electric plug-in cars in New Zealand at the end of February, which had reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 2431 tonnes.
Between 1990 and 2013, there was a 69% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
Oamaru is expected to have a electric vehicle charger installed within four years, while Timaru and Waimate will have them installed over the next two months.