International Drive Electric Week held a hugely successful event at Matakana Village Farmers Market. Four keen volunteers, including Kathryn Trounson, Chairperson of The Better NZ Trust got up for a 7am chilly start.
We set up in a prime position right at the entrance to the market, initially with a BMW i3, a Tesla S and a Nissan Leaf. We were soon joined by a PHEV Mitsubishi Outlander and a second Leaf which was available for test drives.
It didn’t take long for those curious about EVs to approach us. We happily fielded all the usual questions about range, initial outlay and battery life. Some people took quite a lot of convincing that the cars could be charged from an ordinary AC household powerpoint. Others were already converts and simply wanted to look through the vehicle options.
Personally, I gained the most satisfaction when people realised that EVs are not necessarily elitist; a view commonly held. People were amazed to hear that a second hand Leaf can cost as little as$15-25k.
Of course, the Tesla S was the drawcard with most appreciating its understated elegance, while a few felt it wasn’t flashy enough. The BMW i3 with it’s range extender (REx) also grabbed the attention of many. Its carbon fibre reinforced plastic bodywork together with the hemp fibre/recycled plastic interior panels captured the attention of the seriously conscientious environmentalists.
The crowds began to thin just after midday and we decided to pack up just before 1pm in order to join the EV convoy who had converged on Puhoi Pub. However, it was a struggle to leave as every time we tried, another person sidled on up, keen to get a look in.
In contrast to the chilly start, Matakana put on a glorious sunny day and we look forward to doing it all one more time this Saturday. Albeit with thunderstorms anticipated.