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SI Road Trip Last Legs

Leading The Charge - The Last Legs

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My Road trip experience

1500km in a 24kw Leaf. My experience chasing the 2020 Leading the Charge Road Trip.

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North Island RoadTour Sept 2020

After a great meet-up in New Plymouth on Day 2 of the 2020 Roadtour the EVs set off separately for the Wellington area - and took advantage of the multiplicity of ChargeNet chargers down SH1 from which to catch a few electrons - they all were visited by one or more of the group!


Bailey from ChargeNet had a 'sticker maintenance' mission for the DC chargers whilst driving the electric Mini which got envious stares from many!

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SI Road Trip Day 6

Very from the Pukaki lookout
Day 6 saw the roadtrippers travel from the Arthur's Pass area towards Twizel and Omarama.

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SI Road Trip Days 1 and 2

Day 1 of the journey, and the South Island travellers made our way from all over the South Island (and beyond!) into Christchurch.

Proudly displaying the EV Road Trip Sticker

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New Plymouth day 2

Despite weather predictions for the first meet-up for the LTC 2020 Roadtour we had a blast in the carpark of a cafe in New Plymouth!

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Hadden Paddon Electric Rally Car

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Transport Treehouse - a must watch podcast

Those of the EV community who have had the pleasure of meeting Chelsea Sexton, world famous EV advocate, will hopefully have seen/heard a new podcast series, called Transport Treehouse, in which Chelsea and her co-host Russell Frost interview EV luminaries on Zoom! So very Covid-19 and very watchable!

Chelsea of course has a resume in all things EV as long as your arm, going back to the days she worked on the EV1 at GM last century (!), and the Trust has always been so very grateful for her support of our RoadTrips over the years. Her attendance on RoadTrips assisted by the fact that she loves NZ and our plucky attempts to change the driving habits of our Team of 5 million!

The 2019 RoadTrip was characterised by the latest EECA and BNZT branded polo shirts and caps in a vibrant tangerine colour!  So when you watch these podcasts please note that Russell has been known to sport one of these very shirts, courtesy of Chelsea! 

transport treehouse

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Electric cars and their CO2 lifetime emissions

A UK based organisation has looked at the CO2 emissions of EVs.

Scientists from the universities of Exeter, Nijmegen and Cambridge conducted lifecycle assessments of both the electric-vehicle market and household heating, two of the biggest markets for electric power draw, which showed that even where electricity generation still involves substantial amounts of fossil fuels, there was a CO2 saving over conventional cars and fossil-fuel heating. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Sustainability.

They found that in 53 out of 59 regions, comprising 95% of the world, electric vehicles and domestic-heat pumps generate less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel-powered cars or boilers. The only exceptions are heavily coal-dependent countries such as Poland.

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BNZT Supporting Idle Off

The Better NZ Trust has been at the forefront of educating the NZ public as to the benefits of driving an electric car for five years, and we continue with this valuable mission.  Since 2016 and the first big scale RoadTrip the Trust has offered rides and drives in EVs, to enthuse potential purchasers that an EV really is so much fun to drive, and can help reduce CO2 emissions significantly.  Such a reduction is imperative if catastrophic global warming is to be avoided.

The Trust is now supporting an Australian project called IDLE OFF, which has been developed to inform and educate school children as to the harm that fossil-fuelled cars make when idling outside school gates.  See and find detailed information and project work sheets to start an air quality conversation!

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Formula E Resumes Racing

Templehopft Airport, Berlin

Season Six of ABB FIA Formula E racing was thrown into shambles earlier this year with the global lockdown due to COVID-19. 

Racing continued in a virtual eRacing format, but those results will not form part of the championship results table. Even so, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Audi Sport Abt Schlaefer took the races very seriously as discovered by veteran German driver Daniel Abt, who was first fined by FIA and then suspended by the Audi team for faking it, ie: allowing a ringer gamer to race on his behalf (sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing.) 

Abt's FE career is now over despite him previously competing in every Formula E race to date. To some, it seems too big a punishment considering the eRaces were just for fun. Audi continues the season with just one driver on the team: Brazilian, Lucas di Grassi.

Daniel Abt, Suspended for cheating during eSports race. image: Yahoo Sports

Formula E announced today that the season will continue from August with FIA approving six live races over nine days at Templehopf Airport in Berlin.


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BMW Invests in Carbon Net Zero Gasoline

"The average car stays on the road for over eight years; meaning that even if the whole world switched to buying 100% electric cars tomorrow, it would still take almost a decade for today's internal-combustion engines to be off the road," Greg Smithies, partner at BMW i Ventures, said in a statement.
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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


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 [email protected].

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: 

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


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.

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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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