Press Contact

Kathryn Trounson
Chairperson
022 174-9110
kathryn@betternz.org

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Submission Guidelines

Hey all. I'd like to announce that our submission guide for the Clean Car Policy and Clean Car discount is now live.

We've been working on this document for the past week to help people make an informed and supportive submission to encourage and accelerate EV uptake in NZ. You can find the guide here and you can use it to cut and paste answers or as a basic guide for your own answers.  The more people who submit, the more weight the proposal will have to make it into law.

 
Clean Car Submission Guidelines


If you can find the 5-10min to submit on this issue, it would be amazing. Thank you!


Will Hunter
#LeadingTheCharge
Champion

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The Crowning Champ is ...

The second New York E Prix is won by Dutchman Robin Frijns, making his team, Envision Virgin, the only ones to have both drivers taking an E Prix race this season.

But the main focus is the Championship for the 2018/19 series. 

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Big Apple Goes Nuts

The concrete jungle of Brooklyn, New York has been transformed, ready to host the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The double header (2-day) finale is back in the Big Apple for the third year running, but next season the finale will be moving to London.

So, for the last time the spectacular Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty frames the waterfront racetrack. But the famous view will be far from the minds of the 22 drivers as they arrive at the penultimate race in the 2018/19 championship series.

It’s been a rollercoaster season, with no clear front-runner emerging until the 9th race, when Jean-Eric Vergne (JEV) racing for Chinese outfit DS Techeetah, began to accumulate podium finishes. Now at the top of the championship standings, he is a healthy 32 points ahead of Lucas di Grassi, in second place, racing for Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

New Zealand’s own Mitch Evans, racing for Panasonic Jaguar, is third in the standings. Evans also holds the lap record for this track at 1:13.207. 

With 58 points still up for grabs, eight drivers still mathematically have a chance of lifting the title. But the general feeling is that it would take a brave punter to bet against JEV, who has won three of the last six races, and is the reigning champion. 

The Championship standings before the race.

 

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Clean Car Standards: New Government Proposals

The Better NZ Trust volunteers lead the charge to the steps of The Beehive in 2017 to demonstrate the capabilities of plug-in vehicles. Photo: Mark Nixon, Trust volunteer

Moving the light vehicle fleet to low emissions: discussion paper on CCS and CCD

The Better NZ Trust was created to encourage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and we are in support of the Clean Cars Standards proposal (CCS.)

In fact we think it has been too long coming.

The feebate system has been suggested by several international experts visiting NZ and shown to be successful in many other countries so is very likely to make a difference here as well.

"Any system is likely to have be unfavourable for some parties, but what is important is the overall goal and outcome desired," says Trust treasurer, Sean Dick.

"But what is important is the overall goal and outcome desired."

"We also need to look carefully at the distinction between battery and hybrid. The Trust has always supported hybrid electric vehicles when they have a plug and can be charged from our 80%+ renewable energy source as much as possible. We are obviously reading the detail behind the proposal and are likely to either write our own submission or provide input to support another party's submission."

The Detail, (a podcast from Radio NZ) had an indepth talk this morning about the CCS. Kathryn Trounson, Better NZ Chairperson; Julie Anne Genter, Associate Transport Minister; and Quartz journalist, Akshat Rathi were all interviewed, making for an interesting and robust discussion.

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What Happens to Old EV Batteries

Question of the Day:

"When EV batteries need replacement what happens to the old ones?"

"Do we ship them off to another country and move the responsibility?"

[post answered by Adam Metalbob, Leading The Charge, 4 July 2019]

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Pandemonium in Bern

Pandemonium in the Pits After Massive Pile Up

The final of the Voestalpine European E-Prix Trophy was held in Bern today — the Swiss city of the bear — where the crowds lined every inch of space 8 or 9 deep right around the length of the 2.750 km hard-core street circuit.

A new track in a new location, where everything is different, comes just when the drivers are probably looking for stability, as they head into the final few races in the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E series.

And it really was a fun and challenging narrow track with sharp corners, multiple surfaces, manholes, broken tarmac, extreme cambers, an overly long pit, topped by huge changes in elevation. There was no room for error, and energy conservation was key.  More about the track, the European series, and the city of Bern.

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Voelstalpine Finale

We are now just three races from the end of the 2018/19 ABB FIA-Formula-E series but today's race, the 2019 Julius Baer Swiss E-Prix, is the final chance for the contenders to win the Voestalpine trophy. Five European E-Prix's contribute to the trophy, which started amongst the ancient ruins of Rome, then Paris, Monaco, Berlin and now coming to a head in Bern.

Best known for Toblerone chocolate, the Swiss City of Bears, Bern, has opened its roads to motorsport for the first time since 1954. It's a city of ups and downs and therefore it's not at all surprising that elevation will be an important component of the 2,750 km E-Prix track. The steep slopes and inclines have never before been seen in Formula E, making this a challenging finale for the 22 cars competing in the European Championship.

As they go to the start line, eight of the 22 drivers are in with a chance to win the trophy, including New Zealand's own Mitch Evans.

"With lots of character, surface and elevation changes, it's a real, hardcore street circuit," says Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans. "The downhill section into Turn 3 and 4 is going to be tough. You come in with a lot of speed, so there's no room for error. Most braking zones look quite difficult — that's going to be the scariest for us with the most consequences — I think it's going to be a complete rollercoaster but I'm looking forward to it."

Yes, it's going to be an exciting race, with no clear winner yet. Let's take a closer look at those who are in with a chance.

Favourite: Jean-Eric VERGE

The current Voestalpine leader is 29-year old Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, racing for DS Techeetah. Vergne won in Monaco and placed third in Berlin. Therefore he only needs a podium finish to clinch the 2019 European Trophy — that is unless Lotterer, di Grassi or Buemi get to climb onto the podium.

With the 2017/18 Championship Title to defend, and 102 points this season, the pressure will be on JEV. The charismatic driver started his motorsport career in karts at the tender age of 4. His long career has included 58 Formula One grand prix. In 2014 he made the switch to Formula-E, joining first Andretti Motorsport, then switching to Virgin Racing and now DS Techeetah. He has raced 53 E-Prix's with 7 wins and 19 podium finishes, making him one of the most experienced electric car drivers in the world.

The challenger - Andre LOTTERER

Despite not achieving a win yet this season, JEV's teammate Lotterer has placed on the podium often enough to be a serious contender. Any podium place could be enough for this German driver to take the trophy home. 

Making a name for himself at a young age, 39-year old Lotterer made the switch from fossil fuel racing to electric last season. 

The underdog - Mitch EVANS

Don't underestimate the Underdog.  Mitch Evans has been in the points on nearly every race this season, including top of the podium in Rome.

Currently placing sixth in the championship series, Mitch is in with a chance. Just 33 points separate him from Championship leader JEV, so clinching the voestalpine European races trophy (with any podium finish) would provide a much-needed lift to Evan’s Championship hopes. 

The 24-year old Kiwi driver has entered 34 E-Prix, with his maiden win in Rome, and 2 podium places. This is his third Formula-E series, during which he has remained with British racing outfit Jaguar. Evans started his motorsport career in karts at the age of six and won the NZ Grand Prix at the age of 16. Moving to GP2 in 2013 and aged just 18, he became the youngest driver in the field's history to stand on the podium after finishing third in Sepang, Malaysia.

The comeback – Robin Frijns

After a spectacular win in Paris despite pouring rain and hail, the Dutch driver Frijns has had a sensational return to form in the all-electric series but will it be enough to be crowned king of the voestalpine European races?   

The strategist - Lucas di Grassi

One of the undisputed masters of the all-electric street racing series, Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi has once again made up for lost ground in Europe. With a win in Berlin, the Brazilian driver now sits second in the Championship standings behind leader Jean-Eric Vergne. Should di Grassi reach the podium for the second time in the voestalpine European races, the Brazilian has a strong chance of clinching the trophy ahead of his second title challenge in New York City. 

The rookie – Oliver Rowland

Rowland doesn't have the depth of experience, but he has managed to outperform his highly-seasoned Nissan e.Dams teammate Sebastien Buemi, who sits behind him tenth in the standings. With two podiums, one after finishing second in Monaco, the rookie will need to slot into the top two places on the podium to be in with a chance of lifting the voestalpine European races trophy ahead of New York.  

The master - Sebastien Buemi

Going purely by career wins in Formula E, Nissan e.dams’ Sebastien Buemi is the most successful driver in the history of Formula E with 12 victories to his name. But despite his impressive win rate, the Swiss driver is yet to secure a win in the 2018/19 season. Now, in his local race here in Bern, Buemi will be desperate to top his second-place finish in Berlin and take the voestalpine European races trophy on home turf. To be in with a chance, Buemi will need to make it to the top two steps of the podium at the very least.  

The outsider - Stoffel Vandoorne

So far, the 2018/19 Formula E season hasn’t been kind to newcomers HWA Racelab. With 38 points in total, the team sits ninth in the standings, 150 points adrift of leaders DS Techeetah. Despite the team’s overall position, driver Stoffel Vandoorne has enjoyed his first European Formula E campaign, scoring his first and only podium after finishing third in Rome. Nothing short of a win will enable the Belgian driver to lift the voestalpine European trophy here in Bern. 

Home race hero Sebastien Buemi is 'confident' of ending his 29-race victory drought while the 'hardcore street circuit' leaves 'no room for error' as the drivers count down the hours until the 2019 Julius Baer Swiss E-Prix kicks off in Bern.

TUNE IN TO TVNZ DUKE TO WATCH LIVE AT 3AM, OR WATCH THE RERUN AT 12:15 SUNDAY.

Don't forget to give our Kiwi driver your Fanboost vote.

 

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Road Testing the 2019 LEAF

A Best Buy for a BEV with a Big Asterisk

It’s been a long road for the Nissan Leaf. Introduced in 2011, the Leaf was the first mass-market all-electric vehicle and, despite other EV upstarts making gains, the best-selling electric car in history with more than 450,000 sold worldwide. (ed: including being the most registered EV in New Zealand.) It’s won about every award for green automobiles, including the World Green Car award twice.*

* All-new 2018 Nissan LEAF named "2018 World Green Car" by the World Car Awards.

[Full report from Gary Lieber - Clean Technica - 15 Jun 2019] 

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Racing Towards A Cleaner Future

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 5 JUNE 2019

In a world plagued with deadly levels of air pollution, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is more than just an inner-city street racing series. It's a lab for developing and demonstrating the latest and greatest technology in the battle for clean air: the electric car. To celebrate World Environment Day, check out what's being done in each of Formula E's 12 host cities to clean up our climate.

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Battle for Berlin FormulaE

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The penultimate race in the Voestalpine European Trophy Races was held in Berlin in the historic Tempelhof Airport yesterday.

It is also the fourth to last race in the overall ABB FIA Formula E 2018/19 series.

 

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And We Go Green

The inside story of Formula E  - Friendly on the planet, fierce on the track  

Premieres at Cannes Film Festival at 18:45 on Thursday, May 23 at the Salle 60eme.

'And We Go Green' is a documentary showcasing how competition drives technological development and how the excitement of sport can have a meaningful social impact and alter perceptions of electric vehicles.

 

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVDgoUlzIMU

 

Experience the highs, lows and blows of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and uncover why they race in the new feature-length documentary 'And We Go Green.'

Delving deep behind the scenes, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens, Malcolm Venville and Leonardo di Caprio follow the stories of the drivers and highlight the purpose of the all-electric street racing series in the fight against climate change and deadly levels of urban air pollution.

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BMW - The Next 100 Years

Is BMW still relevant in 2019?

[editorial by Rachelle Tilsley]

The subject of what’s been happening to BMW’s sustainability focus over the past five years, since they released the fully electric i3, is often debated.

With the release of the i3, they had the lead on their competitors as an electromobility pioneer. Then they seemed to fritter that away with a lack of progression, while other manufacturers charged on ahead.

But is that really the case? Let’s take a closer look at BMW.

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The Streak Breaks in Monaco

2019 MONACO E-PRIX (RD 9)

VERGNE KEEPS ROWLAND AT BAY AROUND MONACO HARBOUR

Jean-Eric Vergne (JEV) lifted himself back into title contention with victory on the streets of Monaco, bringing to an end the streak of eight consecutive different winners so far this season.
The reigning champion held off the advances of Oliver Rowland in the closing stages with energy levels dropping but managed to hold station and take the chequered flag. The result marks Vergne’s first win around the Principality in any discipline.
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Diesel Is NOT Better Than Battery

We're seeing the German "research" recently published in the Brussels Times popping up in media everywhere now. It claims that actually, "Electric Vehicles in Germany Emit More CO2 Than Diesel Ones."  This headline alone is enough to convince those, who would dearly love to see electric vehicles fade away like a bad dream after you turn the lights on. 

It's unfortunate that the article has been reprinted around the world.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.

The Better NZ Trust is republishing the following article so that our stance on the matter is clear. In 2015 the NZ government department, EECA, commissioned a life-cycle analysis of the environmental impact of electric vehicles compared to internal combustion engine vehicles using either petrol or diesel. The (peer-reviewed) report confirmed that EVs are better for the New Zealand environment than the fossil fuel powered vehicles, across the life-cycle of the vehicle as well as while in use. And the situation is only getting better as our energy is getting cleaner, and battery tech is improving. Read that report summary here.

Here's what the rest of the world has to say...

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FRIJNS WINS IN FRANCE

2019 ABB FIA Formula E Racing News

2019 PARIS E-PRIX

Frijns Takes First Win in Formula-E after Frantic Race in French Capital

RACE RECAP

Robin Frijns, racing for Envision Virgin Racing, persevered through tricky weather conditions to cling on to victory in a frantic race on the streets of the French capital.
 
With a slippery surface, damaged front wing and numerous restarts to contend with, Frijns managed to hold position and stay ahead of Andre Lotterer - who again had to settle for second place.
 
It’s a first-ever win for Frijns in Formula E and extends the list of consecutive different race winners to eight. Still without a repeat winner this season, Frijns jumps to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - one point clear of Lotterer, courtesy of an extra point for setting the fastest lap.
 
Frijns - who lined-up third on the grid - moved to the front of the field following mistakes and misfortune from both Nissan e.dams cars in the early phase of the race. After the cars were released behind the BMW i safety car at the start due to wet conditions, Oliver Rowland crashed out of the lead - locking-up and hitting the barrier at Turn 10.
 
Rowland recovered and dropped down the order to last place, while team-mate Sebastien Buemi suffered a puncture and pitted for a tyre change - gifting the lead to Frijns. However, it wasn’t such plain sailing for the flying Dutchman, with stoppages to clear the track halting any chance of pulling a gap.
 
With multiple Full Course Yellows and one safety car period, the leading group were kept in close proximity until the chequered flag, putting a first win tantalisingly within reach of Lotterer.
 
Successive second place finishes lift Lotterer just behind Frjins in the points table, meaning the DS TECHEETAH driver now leads the voestalpine European races.
 
Daniel Abt rounded-out the top-three positions, earning his second appearance on the podium this season. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team-mate Lucas di Grassi finished a place further back in fourth - ahead of Maximilian Gunther for GEOX DRAGON with a career-best fifth in Formula E.
 
Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne wasn’t able to replicate last season’s success on home soil and could only manage to collect eight points for sixth. Antonio Felix da Costa was next over the line in seventh for BMW i Andretti Motorsport, one place in front of HWA RACELAB’s Gary Paffett in eighth.
 
Felipe Massa - who was running as high as third - avoided damage after spinning on the exit of Turn 2 and added to VENTURI Formula E Team’s points haul in ninth. MAHINDRA RACING’s Pascal Wehrlein completed the top-10, despite losing Julius Baer pole position and starting last on the grid due to not respecting the minimum tyre pressures in qualifying.
NEXT RACE
Monaco - May 11th
 
Formula E now returns to the famous streets of the Principality for round nine of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on May 11 and third installment of the voestalpine European races in Monaco.
 
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On the Road

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Evans!

Mitch Wins for NZ and Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Mitch Evans clawed his way past Andre Lotterer in a hard-fought duel on the streets of Rome to earn his first victory in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and a maiden win for Panasonic Jaguar Racing.
 
Evans stalked the back of Lotterer’s car in the opening phase of the race, with the DS TECHEETAH driver unable to pull a gap. With both teams and drivers evenly-matched on pace, it became a tactical battle about when to deploy ATTACK MODE.
 
It was Evans who blinked first - activating ATTACK MODE just after the halfway mark. Despite losing some time moving off the racing line, Evans stayed ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in third and quickly roped Lotterer back in.
 
Lotterer chose not to mirror Evans and ran an alternate strategy, holding off on using the higher power mode and keeping the Jaguar behind - intending to reap the rewards later in the race and using track position to his advantage.
 
However, Evans had other ideas and made a lunge with only seconds to spare with ATTACK MODE running out. Staying in his slipstream with the shining LED lights on the halo, Evans squeezed by Lotterer with a bold move up the inside of Turn 11.
 
With the lead changing hands, Lotterer used ATTACK MODE twice on the bounce in a bid to counteract the advance of Evans. But despite his best efforts, he couldn’t get close enough and had to once again settle for second place.
 
Managing and closely monitoring his energy to the chequered flag, Evans punched the air as he crossed the finish-line - adding to the list of consecutive different winners so far this season and taking the tally to seven.
 
Vandoorne hung on to the coat-tails of the top-two and rounded-out the podium places, before coming to a halt on the cool down lap. The result marks the first podium for the Belgian in his rookie season and the first for HWA RACELAB in Formula E.
 
Robin Frijns progressed through the field to fourth ahead of Sebastien Buemi - who picked-up an extra point for fastest lap - with his Nissan e.dams team-mate Oliver Rowland a place further back, in front of Lucas di Grassi in seventh.
 
Four points for Jerome D’Ambrosio in eighth was enough to vault him above Antonio Felix da Costa, returning to the top of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship standings with the top-nine drivers covered by a mere 13 points.
 
Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne couldn’t replicate his form from Sanya, failing to score points after being caught-up in the first lap melee with Jose Maria Lopez and Gary Paffett that eventually brought out the red flag. Vergne was later penalised for overtaking Da Costa under Full Course Yellow - dropping him further down the order.
 
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship now heads to Paris for the second instalment of the voestalpine European races on April 27.
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Repco Supports EV

The automotive world is changing and some commercial entities are quickly recognising the opportunities that this will bring. One of these businesses is Repco New Zealand.

Repco New Zealand is proudly supporting the #LeadingTheCharge 2019 Great EV Road Trip.

"Now in its 5th season, this is a fantastic annual event for Repco to be part of," says Richelle Ashman, Marketing Manager NZ. "Repco recognises Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming a popular choice for New Zealand drivers."

Repco has been providing New Zealanders with what they need to get their vehicle road ready for over 95 years. Repco leads the charge in the automotive parts aftermarket, which makes Repco a fitting partner to the #LeadingTheCharge 2019 Great EV Road Trip.

If you are coming along to a Leading The Charge event in Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Auckland and Whangarei, be sure to pick up a Repco voucher to save on your next purchase at you nearest Repco store.

I used my voucher to buy seat covers for my BMW. Thanks Repco.

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Taupo Turns It On

Taupo turned on glorious weather for the 2019 Road Trippers.

After the cancellation of the Rotorua Night Market due to inclement weather, the Great EV Road Trip 2019 began at stop 2 – Taupo – on the Colonel Roberts Reserve, right in the heart of the eating quarter of Taupo – and on the waterfront. 

 

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Vergne Victorious

SANYA STREET CIRCUIT, CHINA - MARCH 23:

Showdown in Sanya sees Vergne clinch the win on the city's seafront.

 

Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS TECHEETAH,  (Photo by Alastair Staley / LAT Images)

Jean-Eric Vergne secured a much-needed victory in Sanya on home soil for the Chinese DS TECHEETAH team, vaulting the reigning champion to third in the standings and reigniting his title defence.

The DS TECHEETAH team celebrates victory during the Sanya E-prix at Sanya Street Circuit on March 23, 2019 in Sanya Street Circuit, China. (Photo by Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)

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NZ Feb - Outlander PHEV Soars Again

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV recovers #1 from the Hyundai Kona BEV hands down
Plugins are a hot item in New Zealand, last month, 200 units were sold in New Zealand, up 111% YoY, and pulling the year result to 329 units (+66%), while share wise, February recorded an impressive 2.6%, pulling the 2019 PEV Share to a record 1.8%, already a significant improvement over the 1.4% of 2018.
 
[Jose Pontes - EV Sales - 12 March 2019]
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Bird Brains It

BREAKING NEWS: AFTER A PENALTY, THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE IN PODIUM PLACINGS (SEE END)

 

Race 5 of the season was the 50th Formula E race and it was therefore fitting that the series was back in China where the very first Formula E race was held. Although that race was in Beijing while this 5th race of Season 5 was on the waterfront streets of downtown Hong Kong. It was also the 50th Formula E race for veteran Brazilian driver, Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler)

The rain held off yet again, but the track was in various degrees of wet and dry from an earlier downpour, making driving tricky especially over the painted areas of the street track which become like ice when wet.  The track had 10 turns, six to the right and four to the left with mixed surfaces.

It was a game of cat and mouse between German, Andre Lotterer driving for DS Techeetah and Briton Sam Bird of Envision Virgin Racing, which ultimately ended in contact with Bird's claws causing a tyre blow-out.

 

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EV Sales Doubled Again IN UK

All-Electric Car Sales In UK Doubled Again In February 2019

Demand for pure electric cars is now higher than supply

Positive news comes from the UK where the plug-in car market expanded in February by 36% to 2,104 at a decent 2.6% market share.

Results are quite encouraging in the “quietest month of the year ahead of crucial March plate change”, as plug-in hybrids managed to note small growth. The serious increase was made by all-electric cars, which moved up by more than 100% for the second month in a row.

  • 731 BEVs (up 106% year-over-year)
  • 1,373 PHEVs (up 15.4% year-over-year)
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London Calling

London Wins Right to Host Formula E Next Season

 

It's Official. While Auckland was twiddling its thumbs on the subject, London has streaked ahead and scored the Series that this year is proving to be so much more popular than it has in the past.

Set to take place around the city's iconic Royal Docks and ExCeL London, the drivers will navigate their way around a one-of-a-kind track indoor/outdoor 2.4km clockwise circuit around Royal Victoria Dock. 

Consisting of 23 corners, the track layout will see the drivers run along the Thames waterfront for the season finale double-header of the 2019/20 campaign on July 25 & 26 2020 - subject to circuit homologation and approval of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

ExCeL will be the new home of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in the UK - a market at the forefront of electric vehicle technology and the adoption of clean mobility solutions. London last hosted an e-prix in 2015/16.
 
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “I’m extremely excited to be bringing the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and electric racing back to the UK. Every motorsport series would love to host an event in London - this has been our desire for quite some time now and we’re delighted to have found a new home in the Royal Docks at ExCeL London. We have a growing base of knowledgeable and passionate fans in the UK, and this race adds to a fantastic summer of sport as a world-class event we hope Londoners can be proud of. Formula E coming back to the UK extends beyond pure racing excitement, it’s also a strong message for London to tackle inner-city air pollution by promoting clean technologies and electric sustainable mobility.”
.
Race 5, Series 5: ABB Formula E HKT Hong Kong E-Prix
To get a taste of Formula E and electric street racing - tune-in to watch live coverage of race 5 on TVNZ Duke this weekend.   
Sunday, March 10 at 8pm - 10:30pm NZT
Voting On Now
TV viewers can participate in the fun by voting for their favourite driver. The top five drivers score an additional boost of power. Voting starts 2 weeks prior to each race, and viewers can vote once a day. 
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Goodbye Dino Juice

Teacher Kirsty White listens to Oli Kirke, 12, talk about his winning story entry.

Timaru 12 Year Old Wins Contest in Protest About Petrol Cars and Bullying

Oli Kirke's protest against petrol cars and bullying has earned him the top prize for his age group in a Department of Conservation writing competition.

The 12-year-old Grantlea Downs School pupil won the age 11-14 category of the summer writing competition hosted by DOC's Arthur's Pass branch, for his short story Goodbye Dino-juice.

The story, set in 2024, follows a 1950s Cadillac named Bailey as he leaks petrol and yearns to stop "destroying this planet". Nople, the latest Tesla Model X, teases him for his "stinky old butt" until he stands up to her - after which she fits him with an electric motor.

Oli said his story was a protest hoped to encourage people to swap their petrol cars for electric, and to put more effort into understanding and helping each other.

See Video of Oli reading his winning story and full story
[Stuff - Joanne Holden - Timaru Herald - 4 Mar 2019]
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Di Grassi Wins for Audi in Final Second

Lucas di Grassi stole victory from under the nose of Pascal Wehrlein in a sensational sprint to the finish line on the final lap in Mexico City.
 
Wehrlein, who led the entirety of the E-Prix and was on course for his first-ever victory in Formula E, ran out of energy exiting the final corner and started to slow only metres from the chequered flag.
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Vector Brings Intelligent EV App to NZ

Vector and Chargetrip Partner to Ease Anxiety Amongst EV Owners at Busy Charging Stations

New Zealand's EV Owners are getting a welcome boost from New Zealand's largest Energy distributor Vector who has teamed up with Dutch start-up Chargetrip.

Range Anxiety vs Charge Anxiety

Range anxiety is a term often used to describe the stress EV users experience when their destination is or could be further than their car battery’s range, and they fear they could end up stranded on the side of the road. Charge anxiety is caused by the uncertainty of waiting lines at charge stations. Both are considered major barriers keeping people from switching to electric driving.

To put more control and freedom in the hands of EV users, Vector and Chargetrip are adapting a popular EV journey planning app for the New Zealand market, that equips EV drivers with journey planning information that is tailored to them, their trip, and their EV.

Topography and Weather will be taken into account when calculating range

The app is based on the popular Chargetrip service used by more than 50,000 EV drivers in Norway—which has the largest number of EV users per capita in the world. The app will offer Kiwi EV drivers route planning and navigation guidance, suggesting the optimal charge stops along the way.

To help fund the app’s adaptation to the New Zealand market, Vector and Chargetrip have been awarded a grant from Elemental Excelerator (Elemental)—a growth accelerator that has funded more than 50 projects globally.

Vector’s Group Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Chargetrip, with support from Elemental, to create a tool that improves the overall experience for EV owners, who we know have very different needs compared to drivers of internal combustion engines.

“Vector has long been committed to stimulating and facilitating uptake of EVs in New Zealand and we have a network of EV chargers in Auckland. We have invested in new EV related technologies such as Vehicle-to-Home, which allows EV’s to become mobile sources of energy and we are now excited to be working towards improving the user experience for EV drivers,” Simon said.

The app will also inform people about their CO2 savings per journey and will be compatible with every EV type regardless of make, model or configuration.

The app will include information for public charging locations throughout New Zealand, their availability (to help avoid queues), as well as real-time assessment of the environmental factors that can impact EV batteries, such as topography and temperature.

It will utilise data from NZ Transport Agency’s EVRoam database of public EV charging infrastructure. EVRoam collects data directly from electric vehicle charging infrastructure providers and freely distributes it to a wide range of transport maps, apps and websites.

Chargetrip's CEO Gideon van Dijk said, “Electric mobility is a crucial catalyst in the renewable energy transition. We are excited to partner with Vector and Elemental, who both have an impressive track record at moving the needle. Range anxiety, waiting lines, and complex logistics are some of the biggest hurdles to rapid EV adoption. We are committed to solving these barriers and empowering drivers to make the switch to a cleaner transportation.”

Ramsay Siegal, Elemental Excelerator’s Managing Director said, “We are proud to partner with Vector, a global leader in energy innovation, and help Chargetrip scale its pioneering smart navigation technology. This project is a perfect example of how startups and utilities can collaborate for transformative change, and we're excited to share lessons from New Zealand to support faster EV adoption worldwide.”

 

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Orix NZ offers equal footing EVi leasing plan

ORIX New Zealand has launched a new initiative—ORIX NZ EVi—aimed at pushing electric vehicles into NZ fleets. 

They are now offering a programme where businesses with 16 or more lease vehicles on an ORIX Sole Supply agreement the opportunity to upgrade one of their fleet’s vehicles to a selected electric vehicle at the same lease rate as the fossil fuel equivalent. This has become possible, thanks to co-funding from the Government's Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) 

The Orix NZ EVi programme will include the installation of an AC charging unit at the business premises free of charge and provide opening charging credit.

The aim for the project is to remove many of the barriers businesses face when attempting to incorporate an electric vehicle into their fleet.

ORIX has seen increasing interest in adding electric vehicles to fleets but they claim the reality is that the majority of those businesses are reluctant to invest the higher upfront costs. By removing the additional cost of an electric vehicle, the cost of the charging unit and by handling most of the admin, ORIX is hoping to eliminate the barriers. This will integrate electric vehicles into a wider range of businesses over a three year period, giving them the opportunity to experience and fully evaluate an electric vehicle for their organisation.

The Better NZ Trust agrees with Orix and EECA, of the importance of getting electric cars into business fleets. This will ensure a flourishing second-hand EV market in the years to come, making sustainable transport affordable for a wider range of NZers. 

 

[Rachelle Tilsley - 10 Feb 2019]

image supplied by Orix NZ

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Can You Really Charge All Around NZ In An EV?

Good infrastructure is seen as essential to the promotion of EV sales and use in NZ. 

image PAUL SHERLEY/BMW NZ

[David Linklater - Stuff - 30 Jan 2019]

The latest round of the Government's Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund has once again thrown the spotlight on New Zealand's charging infrastructure.

The fund, which provides up to $7 million per year to contribute up to half of project costs to promote the uptake of Electric Vehicles (EVs), named Ngai Tahu Tourism as one of its recipients.

Partnering with ChargeNet, Ngai Tahu will install DC fast chargers at key tourist spots including Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown and Glenorchy.

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