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Leading the electric vehicle charge into Wanaka

First Published in Crux by Georgia Merton on Apr 4, 2019

With petrol prices over $2.30 a litre, the annual electric vehicle road trip couldn’t have picked a better time to roll (quietly) into Wanaka. As their name suggests, they are quite literally ‘Leading the Charge’ on electric cars, driving the length of the country to change people’s perceptions. The fleet, which includes an electric campervan from Queenstown, arrived and parked up on Wanaka’s lakefront around 3pm today.

 

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"Leading The Charge" Electric Vehicle Road Trip

First Published in Cromwell-News on Apr 3rd, 2019

ALEXANDRA, APRIL 8TH 2019
At Hawkdun Rise Vineyard,
241 Letts Gully Road, Alexandra
between 6-7pm

 

A national road tour of electric vehicles arrives in Alexandra to recharge, and demonstrate the potential of EV’s to change transport’s effect on climate change.

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New EV Charger Hits Westport

First Published in EV TALK by Sophia Wang on 3 April 2019

From left, Foodstuffs sustainability manager Mike Sammons, New World operator Chris Acklin, ChargeNet NZ chief executive officer Steve West, Buller mayor Garry Howard and BetterNZ Trust chair Kathryn Trounson.

An electric vehicle fast charger was ceremonially opened at New World Westport by Buller district mayor Garry Howard today. ChargeNet NZ, Foodstuffs, EECA and Buller Line collaborated on this charger, which is the same as those installed at Four Square Karamea and New World Hokitika. Several long-range EVs touring the country on the Leading the Charge road trip also attended the ceremony.

 

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Methven gets fast-charger EV station

First published in Ashubrton Guardian by Susan Sandys on 2 April 2019

Matt Harris (left) and Shaneel Singh of EA Networks switch on the new Methven fast-charger station yesterday.
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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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Trip To Explain What’s Watt

First Published in DriveSouth by David Thomson on Mar 29, 2019

The annual Leading The Charge Great EV Road Trip and electric vehicle information road show hits the lower South Island this week and next, with opportunities to get behind the wheel of an EV in Wanaka, Mosgiel and Dunedin, find out more about these vehicles, and perhaps ride in one as a passenger, at other venues.

Aiming to give independent advice on EV use and ownership, the roadshow started in Rotorua on Thursday and concludes at Cape Reinga in late April, having completed a 5000km loop taking in 30 towns and cities throughout the country.

Along with the test drive opportunities in Wanaka, Mosgiel and Dunedin, the roadshow will be stopping for information sessions at Te Anau, Blackmount, Alexandra, Tekapo and Geraldine.

 

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Electric vehicle road trip expands

First Published in the Timaru Herald by Greta Yeoman on 28 March 2019

A roadshow of electric vehicles will wheel its way into Geraldine on April 13.

 

The BetterNZ Trust is bringing its fifth annual #LeadingTheCharge Great EV Road Trip to South Canterbury next month, including stops in Tekapo on April 12 and Geraldine the next day.

It will be the first time the nationwide roadshow has come to Geraldine.

 

 

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Delay to EV road trip start

First published in EV TALK 28 March 2019 - Geoff Dobson

Bad weather has delayed the start of The Leading the Charge Great EV Road Trip and has also required one diversion.

The Better NZ Trust event now begins in Taupo on March 30 after rain forced cancellation of the March 28 start in Rotorua.

 

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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.”
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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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Santiago E Prix - Race 3 Results

British driver Sam Bird wins at Santiago for the Envision Virgin Racing team, making him the only driver to have a win in every season of Formula E.  Unaware that he was under investigation for being underweight during his post-race weigh-in, he accepted his trophy and fortunately was eventually cleared.

On the podium it was (1st) Sam Bird (Envisage Virgin Racing), (2nd) Pascal Wehrlein (Mahindra Racing), (3rd) Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler). Abt also got the points for fastest lap, and received one of the five fanboosts.

 

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EV Sales 2018 NZ

EV-Sales is a blog created by Jose Pontes, which tracks plug-in (PEV) sales all over the world, ranking countries and manufacturers by sales.

It's a labour-intensive job, with some countries, like NZ, freely publishing this raw data, but in others the data can sometimes be very difficult to come by. Nevertheless, he manages to produce data on about 80 models in 40 markets, twice a year.  When the #LeadingTheCharge team are looking for sales data of NZ-new PEV, this has been a major source of information for us, and therefore probably of interest to our 13,000 registered members.

Leading The Charge now boasts a Membership of 13,000.

NZ's 2018 EOY has just been published at EV-Sales. In summary, New Zealand is +31% for December 2018 compared to December 2017, and +56% for yr-2018 compared to yr-2017. I'll transcribe the New Zealand specific results in full below this introduction. 

Meanwhile, the EV-Sales blog is a subset of EV-Volumes. EV-Volumes, based in Sweden, collects data on more than just sales. They are tracking: Products, prices, batteries, charging infrastructure, regulations and incentives globally. A quote from their website, reads:

"We share a passion for EVs and their ability to make life easier and more sustainable.  EVs offer unmatched energy efficiency, operating cost and cleanness. We believe in their potential to make automobiles the most entertaining, comfortable, purposeful and affordable we ever had.

"Finding the facts in this emerging, dynamic industry can be very time consuming, often impossible. And it is not likely to be your core business either. We made it ours and want to share our knowledge with you."

 

Just a few important notes to keep in mind when reading this data.

1. It is important to differentiate between sales and total fleet numbers. This is a record of sales year-on-year, not total fleet numbers. So while NZ may be heading towards a 3% of national fleet in new registrations, that does not necessarily mean we have 3% of the total fleet. 

2. NZ's vehicle market is largely driven by used imports. Our biggest selling PEV is the Nissan LEAF. In 2018, these were 100% imported, so don't win a podium spot. Though rumour has it that Nissan will begin selling NZ-new LEAFs in mid-late 2019.

3. While to NZ'ers low-speed vehicles may seem unimportant, from a global climate POV, they are terribly important when used in high population density countries like China and India. The shift to electric NEV in these huge numbers is gradually making a positive impact on inner-city pollution in China. This is especially so, in those regions of China which generate largely renewable sources of electricity to power them.

 

[Rachelle Tilsley - Leading The Charge - 26 Jan 2019]


 

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Holiday Parks NZ installing EV Charge Points

Holiday parks in New Zealand are putting their money where their mouth is with the installation of 54 electric vehicle charge points in 24 holiday parks around the country, encouraging the use of electric vehicles.

Fourteen holiday parks in the North Island and 10 in the South Island are now offering 22kW AC charge points, which provide relatively fast charge for vehicles in lieu of installing expensive DC chargers.

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Melee in Morocco FE

It was anybody's game in Marrakesh during the 2nd Race of the 2019 ABB FIA Formula E Series last night. 

Attack Activation Zone in the forefront of this image of the Marrakesh Street Track. Drivers need to turn on attack mode and activate it by taking the corner wide passing over the red and blue lines. Attack mode at Marrakesh lasts 4 minutes and gives an extra 25kW power.

New Zealander, Mitch Evans, got off to a great start, winning a practice race and breaking the track record with a time of 1.17.22. While he didn’t get the extra series point that he would have if he’d won fastest lap during the main race, it was enough for him to comfortably make it into the top six for the qualifying races. In these he just managed to retain a spot in the top six and was therefore eligible to compete in the Julius Baer Super Pole shoot out.

From that point on nothing went right for the Panasonic Jaguar team. In the Super Pole race, Evans overshot the braking-point unable to make the corner at turn six and driving off track into the skate way. By the time he got back on track, he trailed a miserable 17+ seconds behind the pole position. Having already qualified in the top six, Evans still retained his third-row starting post alongside BMW i Andretti Motorsport's Alex Sims who made good time but placed 5th in the Super Pole.

Evan's teammate, Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jn was starting in ninth position followed by Mahindra Racing's Jerome d'Ambrosio.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

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Proactive Vector Produces EV Pamphlet

Unable to wait on government, Vector has begun publishing its own series of Guides on EV Charging. The first much-needed guide will be aimed at multi-dwelling complexes. This how-to guide is designed to make it easier for tenants and residents of business, commercial and apartment buildings to install EV charging facilities. 

Lines company, Vector Limited is New Zealand's leading electricity distributor and is largely owned by Auckland householders, via Entrust.

“EV popularity continues to skyrocket, with the number of EVs on New Zealand roads almost doubling year-on-year,” said Vector’s Head of Engineering, Cristiano Marantes.

“By demystifying the process and making it easier for people to charge their EVs, we expect to see to see more businesses adopt them as part of their company fleet,” he said. 

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Electric Island: Waiheke

[Alex Stone - Waiheke Weekender - 10 Jan 2019]

The goal for the recently announced initiative on Waiheke, "Electric Island", is for a totally clean island in terms of transport and power supply by 2030.

In an article in Waiheke Weekender, dated 10 January, local EV Owner, Alex Stone, talks to other Islanders including The Better NZ Trust's own Carl Barlev, and the owners of Easy Transport, a (nearly) EV-only taxi service on the island.

 

Read Full Article here.

 

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2018 Final EV Tally

NZ EV Registrations: Just Shy of 12K mark

Figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Transport have final numbers of electric vehicles registered in NZ as of 2018 year-end at 11,748. This comfortably exceeds the Government's target of 8,000. 

Continuing the trend, light electric far outweighs heavy EV. Interestingly though, BEV has more than double the number of registrations as PHEV on an increasing trend year on year.

 

 

 

 

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Indian Government's Latest EV Push

Image credit: Nikita Podobulkin Wind Farm in India

Within India's vast mega cities, apartment living is more common than standalone housing. Yet, residential apartments are currently a barrier to EV uptake the world over, and likely to be a key reason India is lagging behind the world in EV Sales. Many locals have been waiting on the government to publish promised building code guidelines for EV. Finally today, the wait is over for India. The Department of Town and Country Planning under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development has issued guidelines to provide for electric vehicle charging infrastructure through addendum to Model Building Bye-Laws. 

India is known for flip-flopping on EV policy, particularly after the u-turn on their initial announcement for EV-sales-only after 2030. (Now 30% New Sales by 2030.) It is possible then, that these new guidelines will also be relaxed if found to be impractical.

Even Norway struggles with the apartment issue, While California has already issued guidelines for multi-dwelling complexes. The most common issues are: lack of space to install a power point near the parking spaces; meter room not located on same floor as parking; preventing electricity theft; apprehensive body corporates and building managers; billing for power on shared ev parking spaces; EVSE installation, ownership & maintenance; H&S concerns; and building's power capacity being fully utilised.

Sooner or later either the New Zealand government or local governments will need to address these issues for our apartment dwellers. Solutions apply to all of the issues, but the building industry and body corporates need to be educated on what those solutions are. Perhaps our nation's leaders need to formulate our own guidelines. India's new legislation will, therefore, be an interesting test case for NZ and other countries.

[Rachelle Tilsley - Better NZ Trust - 7 Jan 2019]

The opinions stated are the author's own and are not necessarily those of the Better NZ Trust,
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2019 Lineup of New EV

It is apparent that 2019 will be an exciting year for EV releases in LHD and some, in RHD, hopefully filtering down to the NZ market.

But even more exciting in 2019, will be the expected announcements of delivery dates for a whole raft of BEVs likely to be released in 2020/21. Experts predict that 2020/21 will be when EV finally becomes a viable alternative for the bulk of the driving population because there will be an EV model suited to almost anybody. That's not to say the bulk of the market will choose an EV, but that there will be less holding them back.

Before then, we have a few new cars hitting the international market and a few notable models finally reaching NZ in 2019.

VW Buzz (concept), due to go on sale in 2022

First up, let's look at those models that have already been released, but to the best of our knowledge are expected to reach NZ shores in 2019.

[Rachelle Tilsley - Better NZ Trust - 31/12/18]

 

 

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Electric Helicopter Makes Record Flight

Electric transportation is about more than cars.

Trucks and buses are also moving toward electric propulsion. Planes, with their long ranges and high power demands seem to be harder. Where electric power does seem to be making progress in the skies is in helicopters. 

Guinness Record Holding Electric Helicopter by Tier 1 Engineering

 

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VW Rethinks Retro

Volkswagen Looks Back Again While Moving into EV Age

Volkswagen is working on an electric dune buggy concept vehicle that pays homage to the classic Meyers Manx.

Now, as VW prepares to introduce the first EVs on its new MEB (modular electric architecture) platform, the company is quietly developing a concept inspired by Meyers’ creation. If produced, it could be one of three retro-themed EVs, including the Buzz, based on the classic Microbus, and a five-door new Beetle.

 

 

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EV Races Against Fastest Animal on Earth

SAUDIA Ad Diriyah

With just 3 days to go until the start of the 2018/19 racing season, FELIPE MASSA, one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, drove deep into the deserts of Saudi Arabia to test his skills against the fastest animal on earth.

It’s not the first time the fully-electric Formula E car has been pitted against a member of the animal kingdom, with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne running side-by-side with a cheetah on the Western Cape of South Africa last year.

Vergne narrowly edged out the fastest land mammal, but fans asked for a rematch - this time together with a more demanding competitor. Listening to the feedback of fans on social media, it became the turn of the peregrine falcon, which is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph) when diving through the skies.


[Rachelle Tilsley - Better NZ Trust - 12 Dec 2018]

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