Leading the Charge Greymouth to Nelson

When you think of rural schools in New Zealand you probably think a handful of students, and quaint buildings in a picturesque setting – you would be right!

The #LeadingTheCharge team had spent the day before resting in Greymouth and with no public events scheduled along the drive up north to Nelson, the team split up and visited a handful of schools along the way.

[Kathryn Trounson - EV Talk - 26 Mar 2018]

At the invitation of a friend of Mark Nixon’s, a few of us paid a visit to Barrytown Junior School. Thirty minutes north of Greymouth, the 26 pupils – many of which had heard of electric cars – were more than a little excited to see two Teslas (a Model X and S), a Mitsubishi Outlander, and a Renault Zoe show up in the flesh!

One home-schooled boy and his mother, Fiona, had been invited along too. It turns out that they had been listening to Elon Musk’s book, and so felt our visit was timed perfectly! Living between Barrytown and Westport Fiona drives significant kilometres and spends $10,000 a year on petrol, and so was very receptive to bringing that spend down somehow.

We were able to take all of the appreciative kids for a ride in a Tesla, whilst the teachers got to drive the Zoe. As a finale Margaret made the Model X dance – that blew their gumboots off! Once we left they were going to be writing about the day the electric cars came to school.

While this was happening, Sean (Dick) and Shawn (Moodie) took their Tesla’s to Murchison Area School, which just about marked the halfway point in the drive to Nelson. With a roll of over 120 kids the #LTC team were greeted by a throng of adorably excited children who were fighting every impulse to keep still.

It was great to hear that owning an electric vehicle was an expectation of most of the children rather than merely a dream. Their genuine excitement for the cars was just the fuel that the team needed to get us to Nelson smiling.

[Kathryn Trounson - EV Talk - 26 Mar 2018]

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