Leading the Charge Wellington

I’ve seen pictures and blogs from the Leading the Charge EV road trip, feeling jealous that I couldn’t go on the entire Bluff to Cape Reinga journey.

Finally, I joined in for the two days the EV show was in Wellington where it rained both days, though wasn’t windy.

Wellingtonians are hardy folk, so we all put on jumpers and rain jackets and headed to the Dowse Museum in Lower Hutt on March 22.

[Rachel Hadfield - EV Talk - 26th March 2018]

The event began with speeches by event organiser and Wellington City Council sustainability adviser Sigurd Magnusson, and Hutt City Council deputy mayor David Bassett.

A good range of EVs available for sale in New Zealand turned out. There were two Hyundai Ioniqs – a full electric and the new plug-in hybrid version which has just arrived for sale here this year, several Nissan Leafs, two Mitsubishi Outlanders and an iMiev, plus an e-Golf brought in by Gazley, the local Volkswagen dealer.

Mevo, a car-sharing company, had one of its Audi e-trons, plus there was a Kia Soul and a BMW i3. The local Pak’nSave has a bright yellow Nissan e-NV200 van which they brought along with a selection of chocolates to keep everybody’s energy up.

Tesla Model S & X cars also took people for rides to show off their acceleration.

The second day in Wellington was held in the lower half of Cuba St. A main attraction was the new all-electric bus by Tranzit Group, which should have the first electric buses on Wellington roads by about May. From 11.30am the electric bus gave short, free rides around the city centre. People I spoke to were really pleased to have electric buses back on Wellington streets, replacing the recently retired trolley buses.

Again, a good range of EVs were at Cuba St for people to test drive or ride in. They included a Renault Zoe and the new 2017 Nissan Leaf which had arrived from Auckland late the previous afternoon, with GVI Electric. A wide range of electric bikes were also on display, brought by Bicycle Junction. Many more electric bikes are owned in New Zealand than electric cars, so for a lot of people an e-bike is their introduction to electric transport.

About 80 test drives and rides were given to people during the two-day stop-over, encouraging EV uptake by showing electric cars’ real capabilities.

[Rachel Hadfield - EV Talk - 26th March 2018]

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