In June this year the Better NZ Trust facilitated a visit by EV advocate and industry advisor Chelsea Sexton to present at "The Future Is Electric" Electric Vehicle Symposium. The symposium was co-hosted by Greater Wellington Regional and Wellington City Councils with support from EECA, Carbridge, Wellington Electricity, NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport.
The event sold out quickly and was attended by a variety of interested parties from government, industry, and other stakeholders. The Better NZ Trust was represented by three of the Trustees.
Videos of the presentations (and associated slides) are now available on the EV Symposium website www.thefutureiselectric.co.nz
A number of news stories were generated by the symposium including:
The Better NZ Trust (BNT) is grateful to all the people who provided sponsorship for the trip, including a significant contribution provided by EECA. Whilst in Wellington Chelsea and the Trustees of the BNT also met with a group of 30 government representatives to workshop initiatives for supporting the adoption of electric vehicles in New Zealand. This full day of presentations and dialogue provided many new action items to spur EV deployment as well as allowed the New Zealand group to learn from Chelsea's 20 years of experience working in the industry.
There was a clear message that the EV owners are going to be a significant contributor in meeting the government's target for EV growth and that the BNT will continue to be "Leading the Charge".
To make the most of Chelsea's visit, the BNT commemorated the 10th anniversary of the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?" by hosting screenings in cities including Whangarei, Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Many of the issues highlighted in the film remain concerns for EV advocates the world over, and instigated spirited discussions in the Q and A sessions after each screening.
To boost the tour, the BNT took to the road in a Tesla Model S driving Chelsea between each city and displaying it with local EVs during meetings and events. The Tesla Model S P90D covered 3600 km during the trip, using about $150 worth of electricity, though the actual cost dropped to roughly $60 due to much of the charging being free!
In Christchurch the film screening was held at the Sudima hotel. Chelsea was able to open the second destination charger for them. The BNT thank Sudima heartily for their support on both this trip and the April 2016 road trip.
Significant sponsors PowerCo and Northpower were excited to meet with Chelsea when we were in their area. PowerCo sponsored a screening in Palmerston North and hosted a panel discussion for a large contingent of their staff in New Plymouth.
During the trip we also screened a newly-released Northpower documentary that includes a great deal of footage shot during the #LeadingTheCharge road trip in April 2016 and features Chelsea. This documentary shows how Northland is the leading region in the country having both more electric vehicles and charging installations than any other area of NZ.
Northpower hosted a BBQ meet and greet, prior to the screening of both movies at their Whangarei headquarters. Many of the local EV drivers turned up along with other people interested in examining and finding out about the EV cars on display.
Northpower are also a major sponsor of the Northland rescue helicopter and arranged a quick ride in the 'copter for Chelsea, who is to become the first international ambassador for the rescue service.
It turns out that flying is the next favourite pastime for the EV Lady. After the real flight a turn in the simulator, that is used to help train the pilots, was arranged. Check out the smile after landing perfectly in front of the Louvre!
And to complete the well deserved play time the BNT arranged a flight for Chelsea in a Tiger Moth. Many thanks to David Phillips for that ride.
Driving a Tesla from Auckland to Dunedin and back is a very pleasant and hugely comfortable way to travel. It can also be very cheap on fuel. Several places we stayed provided free charging for the car, and the gaps were filled in by using the Charge Net DC fast charger network. The total cost in fuel (electricity) was about $60 for 3,600 kms. In comparison an ICE car with a fuel rating of 7litres/100km would have used $450 worth of petrol for the same journey!
One place that donated a few dollars worth of electricity was the Southward Car Museum. We even found a couple of electric vehicles on display!