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

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THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE OIL AGE

image Better NZ Trust

Amid the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, some see signs of hope for the future in the clear skies and quiet streets that have resulted from lockdowns around the world. History tells us that major crises have a way of accelerating changes that were already underway. Could it be that we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of the Oil Age?

[Charles Morris - EVVANEX - 5 May 2020]

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Sweden becomes the third European country to close its last coal power plant

Just days after Austria shut its last coal power plant, Sweden has followed suit with the closure of Stockholm Exergi AB’s Värtaverket plant, two years ahead of schedule. Belgium shut down its last coal power station in 2016.

       

According to Europe Beyond Coal, six more countries are expected to follow suit by 2025 or earlier, including:

  • France (2022),
  • Slovakia (2023)
  • Portugal (2023), 
  • UK (2024),
  • Ireland (2025),
  • Italy (2025).

Five more will drop coal by 2030 or earlier, which is the necessary end date for coal generation in Europe for the continent to be in line with the Paris Agreement. This includes:

  • Greece (2028),
  • the Netherlands (2029),
  • Finland (2029),
  • Hungary (2030)
  • Denmark (2030).

Discussions are currently under way in the Czech Republic, Spain, and North Macedonia over when to exit coal.

Germany intends to exit coal by 2038, which would mean it would not meet the Paris Agreement.

 

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VW China Shows Signs Of Business Recovery

image: VW ID.4

[article by Mark Kane, Inside EVs, April 9th 2020]

Don't lose hope. According to VW, the situation in China is improving quickly. Within a few months, we hope to see the same elsewhere.

Volkswagen announced today that its business in China is showing clear signs of recovery. Dealerships report strong customer interest and plants are coming online again:

  • all Volkswagen brand dealerships in China have resumed business
  • Audi and Škoda brands are also returning to normal
  • 32 out of 33 Volkswagen Group China's plants have resumed production

And significantly - the MEB-based electric cars* will be introduced this year - no delay to next year!

 

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UNSW Electric Vehicle Survey

UNSW EV Survey link 

Image: Shutterstock

The University of New South Wales (UNSW), one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, is undertaking a survey, on Electric Vehicles, lead by Gail Broadbent and Professor Graciela Metternicht. In particular they want to use New Zealand as a case study to find out what has driven our EV sales and build on their previous research.

The survey target is 600 respondents, and Gail Broadbent has asked the Better NZ Trust to help them find participants. 

New Zealand currently has a national light passenger fleet of some 20,000 EVs. This compares to Australia who are lagging behind at approx 16,000 electric vehicles.

In 2019, 6971 light electric vehicles were brought into New Zealand and registered for the first time. That may seem close to Australia’s tally (6,718 in 2019), but in a population of less than 5 million compared to Australia’s population of over 25 million.

Last year, Australian Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten revealed his party’s plan to have half of the country's new cars sold in 2030 be electric vehicles. With a national fleet of 14.3 million vehicles, they (on a normal year) would expect in excess of 1.15 million new car registrations. Shorten's plans for 50% of this number is therefore significant in terms of climate change and achievability.

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Finally an Electric Concrete Mixer

Liebherr and Designwerk have developed the first fully electric truck mixers with 10 and 12 m³ drums on a 5-axle chassis.

Concrete production in the concrete plants is clean and environmentally friendly, as the mixing plants operate electrically. This is not yet the case when transporting the concrete to the construction site: Up to now, powerful diesel engines have been the norm for such applications - combined with emissions in terms of exhaust gases and noise.

Liebherr says the ETM 1005 and 1205 truck mixers transport large quantities of concrete to the construction site quietly and reliably without exhaust emissions. Charging is normally only necessary at night due to the large accumulator capacities, the company adds.

 

 

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Recycling Aluminium at BMW

RECYCLING AT OVER 600 DEGREES.

More than 100,000 tonnes of aluminium are processed annually in the BMW Group plant in Landshut in Lower Bavaria. The plant showcases sustainable use of the light metal.

In addition to BMW's regular lineup, aluminium components play an important role in the further development of electric mobility.

Aluminium is unique among the metals and holds many records. For a long time, it was more valuable than gold. But it comes at a cost: aluminium extraction requires vast amounts of energy. However, with a specific weight of around 2.7 g/cm³ it is approximately three times lighter than iron, resistant against corrosion and very strong. So it comes as no surprise that it is an ideal material for making cars.

How then, can it be used in a more sustainable and responsible way?

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Keeping your car Virus-free

Car wash detergents, glass cleaners and silicon sprays aren't formulated to combat viruses. Indeed, you'd be hard-pressed to find any product in your regular car-cleaning kit that is.

In which case, if you're really dedicated to keeping the bad bug at bay, you'll likely be relying mainly on household cleaners, which might prove to be far harsher products than those you usually apply.

Before you use any product, check the instructions to ensure its okay for use on plastics, upholstery or leather. It's a good idea to test on an unseen patch to double-check it won't cause any damage. Beware ammonia-based cleaning products; these can be ruinous to vinyl surfaces.

 

[from Stuff, 

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What We Do

It's EV promotion season and we've just had a huge weekend of volunteer-led EVents. Many many EV owners have gone ahead and purchased an EV after first hearing about them at one of our events.  We don't always publicly report on our events afterwards because we have so many every month and they are all largely successful. But our volunteers went to such great lengths under the hot sun this past weekend, that we are posting a montage of what took place below.

So what do we do? And what is the Better NZ Trust all about?

image: Trustee, Sigurd Magnusson, takes members of the public for an EV experience ride

The Better NZ Trust promotes the uptake of Electric Vehicles in NZ, particularly in the light passenger and light commercial fleets. We largely do this by holding events where people can look at, learn about, touch and sit in actual electric vehicles. We hand out information pamphlets, dispel myths and answer questions from the point of view of real EV Owners, all without any sales pressure.  Our display vehicles are provided by volunteers, EV-expert car dealers, and commercial fleets who have made the switch to electric.  If you own an EV, you can get involved. Simply ask on your local EV Owners group, or send an email to info@betternz.org.


The New Zealand Electric Light Fleet is expected to reach 20,000 before the end of March


We've been promoting EVs using our brand "#LeadingTheCharge" since 2015, and are officially sponsored by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to pass their informative pamphlets out to the public.

Find our Event Calendar for up and coming EVents at: https://www.leadingthecharge.org.nz/calendar 

Our next major EVent is at Frankton Thunder on April 5th 2020.

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Dutch EV expert debunks Murdoch-pedalled myth about electric car emissions

You may have read the following headline recently: "Extra Emissions are the Dirty Little Secret of Electric Cars" published this weekend by The Australian and copied elsewhere.

Perhaps you've read the article and found there was so many inaccuracies you don't know where to start giving a balanced view.

Auke Hoekstra, a Dutch EV expert and "EV, energy and Smart Grid" researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology, (the same university from which the 2019 winners of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class hail),  is not having any of it.

Hoekstra cuts through the latest claims of renowned climate denialist Bjorn Lomborg, quoted in The Australian article on the emissions from electric vehicles.   Read on....

 

[This report first published on MARCH 9, 2020, The Driven, BRIDIE SCHMIDT]

 

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Kiwi - Mitch Evans WINS Mexico E-Prix

EVANS CRUISES TO VICTORY WITH DOMINANT DISPLAY IN MEXICO CITY

After starting second, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's Mitch Evans emerged victorious after a flawless race in Mexico City. Following Evans was DS Techeetah's Antonio Felix da Costa, while Nissan e.dams' Sebastian Buemi rounded off the podium in third.

Here's how it all happened.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8mpQH2DQ3S/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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2019 Global Top 20

There were some 279,000 registrations in the last month of 2019, that represented the third best month ever, and despite a 4% drop YoY, it wasn't as bad as previously feared, in fact BEVs had their first positive month since August, having registered 374 more units worldwide than in December 2018. On the other hand, PHEVs crashed once again in December, dropping 19% YoY... 
Best Selling EV Maker in the WorldBest Selling EV Maker in the World
This recovering performance helped the yearly tally to remain positive, crossing the 2 million plugins mark, to 2.2 millions (up 10% YoY), and placing the final 2019 global PEV share, at 2.5% share, up from 2.1 in 2018.
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FIA Formula E 2020 News: Race 3 Results

SPOILER WARNING: Results are contained in this blog

I can’t help feeling flat and disappointed in the third race of Formula E’s sixth season in Santiago. It was a scrappy race with 24 drivers on the grid and seven drivers not finishing.

New Zealander Mitch Evans in pole position held a confident lead right through to the 25th minute. But on advice from his team concerned about the car's temperature and energy remaining, he was encouraged to slow a bit. In addition, an unusual strategy, using both his 25 kW power-ups in the first 15 minutes, was something he would later regret.

 

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Lexus' Misleading Self-Charging Hybrid Ads

Norway Puts Its Foot Down On Lexus' Misleading 'Self-Charging' Hybrid Ads: 'This is a Pure Lie'

Norway’s Consumer Authority has put its foot down on Toyota’s ads for the Lexus NX, deeming the campaign for the "self-charging hybrid" crossover as misleading. Many people complained about Toyota’s ads in Norway for its hybrid compact vehicle, with some stating that the company's pitch was a "pure lie."

[by Claribelle Deveza Tesmanian, January 10, 2020]

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How you can contribute to a Better NZ

It's unfortunate, but we can't buy our way to sustainability with a cupboard full of pretty "eco" things. 

The only good sustainable products are the ones we actually remember to (re)use. 

So here are 10 eco-friendly product alternatives that should be in your home by now, and how you can remember them.


 

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China Flunking NEV Sales as Year End Looms

The steep decline in China's NEV sales continues and it is accelerating. Preliminary results for October indicate 48% fewer deliveries than in October 2018; even October 2017 was higher.

Police patrol on electric vehicle in in pedestrian part of a Nanjing street, China
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Alsco Leads The Way

Alsco, formerly NZTS, is a laundry business with a long history in NZ. Yesterday it launched the first long haul EV road freighter in NZ to a crowd of approx 170 people at Eden Park in Auckland.

I went along to the launch wondering why this was a particularly important moment, when EV Heavy Transport already exists. To name a few local examples: the WEL Networks lines truck, the Waste Management rubbish trucks, Container Co's truck and trailer unit operating in Penrose.

Yes, it is a long haul road freighter, which is indeed new in NZ, but it is to be utilised on Alsco's shortest heavy distribution route—some 284 kilometres.  So what was this all about?   I was soon to be impressed.

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New Kiwi Driver FE Street Racing

[post by Rachelle Tilsley - 29 Sept 2019]

ABB FIA Formula E Championship 6th Season

Following hot on the heels of last Thursday's announcement that Panasonic Jaguar has renewed Mitch Evans' contract with a multi-year sign-on, we hear that yet another New Zealander will be racing in the coming Formula E series.

Double FIA WEC (World Endurance) World Champion, and former Formula One driver, Brendon Hartley has signed with the all-American FE team Geox Dragon.

The 6th season will begin on the streets of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on November 22nd, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What's Happening in International Markets?

[[article by JoséPontes EV-Sales - tracking world EV trends - 23 September 2019]

Two emerging European markets for EV are bucking the general trends: Romania and Portugal.

Transfagarasan highway, Romania: arguably the most beautiful road in Europe
The Romanian PEV (plugin EV) market is on fire, with August hitting a new registrations record for the European nation.  And most spectacularly, it is the first nation EVER to record all BEVs in the top 10 new registrations.
Meanwhile Portugal has completely headed in an alternate direction, with PHEVs dominating. 
In Slovenia, a dramatic drop in PHEV sales has meant the whole PEV market has slumped YTD 2019, despite moderate growth in BEV.
While in Switzerland, the Tesla Model 3 is red hot!
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Hamilton Electric Vehicles Charges Along

[Article first published in EVTALK, September 2019, www.evtalk.co.nz]

It’s been seven months since the inaugural Hamilton Electric Vehicles, the city’s only EV centre, opened in early February. Dealer principal Nicholas Down says the enquiries have been huge, which is “absolutely phenomenal”. “We can’t keep up with it!” Down says.

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Introducing our Newest Trustee!

The Better NZ Trust has appointed a new trustee to join the board, now making it a total of six.

 

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Your Submissions: CCS & CCD

Proposed Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount for New Zealand

Earlier this month the Ministry of Transport issued a discussion paper entitled ‘Moving the light vehicle fleet to low emissions: discussion paper on a Clean Car Standard and a Clean Car Discount’. Comments and submissions are called for and must be submitted before 20th August 2019.

Submission Deadline: Tuesday 20th August 2019

We urge you, as Trust supporters, to take some time to submit a response.  We all understand the importance of transitioning away from ICE vehicles to EVs, but there are many who will act to oppose it. We need people like you to stand up and make your voice heard, to let the government know it is on the right track and to drown out the nay-sayers.

 

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Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

It is important that as many people as possible make some sort of submission in response to the Clean Car Policy and Clean Car discount proposal from the Government.

The government has provided a Survey option, so you do not need to write a full submission for this proposal. We expect this means they will take note of the number of people who answer even yes or no for each question.

You should of course read the document and decide what your opinion is. But to help you, along side the governments discussion document we provide you a copy of our written response, and some guidelines prepared by Will Hunter with help from other #LeadingTheCharge Champions.

Here is The Better NZ Trust submission.

And Wills Guide Clean Car Submission Guidelines


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

Here is the link to the MoT page with all the information. And the Link to the Online Survey is near the middle of the page.

https://transport.cwp.govt.nz/multi-modal/climatechange/electric-vehicles/clean-cars/

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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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