[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.
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.
The Better NZ Trust has been #LeadingTheCharge throughout New Zealand since January 2015.
We work to educate New Zealanders in what can be done at an individual and corporate level to adopt zero carbon renewable energy technology.
“We’ll Give You the Facts, and Let You Decide”
Our current programme is incredibly varied – ranging from visits to schools and arranging local events to working closely with University researchers and relevant Government departments.
The Annual Road Trip is a massive undertaking for the Trust, bringing EVs to many major and minor locations in New Zealand and enables us to raise funds to support our work.
We are a registered charitable trust; registration CC55076.
What We Are Not
- We are politically agnostic. Our volunteers have a broad range of political stances.
- We are not a lobby group
- Nor an owners' association as such
- And we do not sell cars
- We do not, as a whole, favour any particular automobile brand. We will work with, and support, any dealer who is willing to invest time into selling plug-in electric vehicles.
We receive funding from both private donations and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority of NZ.
To create environmental, financial and health benefits for all New Zealanders through education and outreach. We are assisting in the adoption of zero-carbon renewable energy technologies.
Championing sustainable initiatives for a better future for all of New Zealand is at the core of all that we do.
The Better NZ Trust's main focus is the #LeadingTheCharge campaign. As ~20% of New Zealand's greenhouse gas pollution is caused by the transport sector, we believe that transitioning away from fossil-fuelled vehicles into electric vehicles will make a valuable impact on our country's zero-carbon policies.
Concurrently, this transition will benefit NZ's economy by keeping our fuel for transport dollars in New Zealand and conserve the world's valuable fossil fuels for future generations.
Our organisation is dependent on our people. Electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts volunteer their time to help us promote the uptake of electric vehicles in the towns and cities of New Zealand.
In each region, we support a Champion amongst the volunteers to rally support from their wider neighbourhood. These people truly are champions as they spend their own time and energy to help. They are also knowledgeable about EV, many of whom have been pioneers in the cultural shift to electric-powered transport. Volunteers can sign up on this website and we will put them in touch with their local champion.
Every year the Better NZ Trust puts on two nationwide events:
International Drive Electric Week
For 9 days in September, New Zealand joins the USA and other countries by hosting EV Awareness events in provincial towns and cities.
The original Drive Electric Week grew out of an idea by Plug-in America in 2011, when a National Plug-In Day was devised to bring attention to EVs. DEW was a celebration to raise awareness of the many and varied benefits of all electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars.
NZ wanted to join in - hence the International preface to the title - and the US was only too happy to have us advocating for a change to electric transport. Before Covid we did many EV events during this week, all over the country, but since 2019 few events have been scheduled.
EV Road Trip
Since the inception of the Better NZ Trust, we have organised an annual road trip usually from Cape Reinga to Bluff in a convoy of EVs, stopping frequently to hold EV events at various places, where we would invite those interested in EVs to come along for a chat.
The original Road Trip in 2015 was organised by Trustee, Steve West with Dee West and Carl Barlev in two Tesla Model S vehicles, with no charging infrastructure anywhere in the country. Utilising Carl's ability to find electricity in milking sheds and at motels they traversed the entire country. It was a chance to prove that EVs could handle long distances.
Now, thanks to Steve developing the ChargeNet network, we feel that this has well and truly been proven. Charging infrastructure is now ubiquitous throughout New Zealand and thanks to the efforts of infrastructure providers and more choice in vehicles, the annual Road Trip is no longer the pioneering adventure that it once was.
However, it's still a chance for the Trustees, Champions and EV enthusiasts to travel together, promoting EVs and having fun. In Covid times we have scaled back such trips to smaller loops, and have developed them into EV holidays, where everyone pays their own way, but we meet up for chats, lunches and evening meals whilst traversing our great Kiwi country.
Watch out for new trips in our EVENTS calendar.
Our regional champions organise regular local events to educate and promote Electric Vehicles to the general public or specific groups, and to encourage EV owners to meet. These are also advertised on our Events calendar.
The most valuable resources for #LeadingTheCharge are the owner-drivers and enthusiasts who make this community work. There are too many to list individually but you will see their names on various pages as ticker tape.
But we also are indebted to the various companies and organisations for donating services or money to help operate the Trust. The list of our larger sponsors can be found here. There are many more organisations that help us in smaller ways whom we are equally grateful to.
Thank you so much for your support, we are excited to continue our work and to meet more people who are as excited as we are about a Better NZ for all of us.
Electric vehicles (EVs) aren’t the stuff of science fiction, they are very real and they are here to stay!
If you haven’t seen an electric vehicle for yourself, come along to an event or talk to a local dealer. At these events, you will be able to talk to some of the owners or read information about the current EV situation in New Zealand and what steps are being taken to increase uptake.
For details of past events look at our blog
Whilst you will charge your EV at home most of the time, there may be occasions when you get caught short. Or, when planning a long trip, you want to know where you can fill up en route.
As of the end of March 2021, ChargeNet alone has installed 158 DC rapid charging stations in the North Island and a further 94 in the South Island .. plus there at least another 300+ AC charge points registered on Plugshare. Plugshare is definitely the master list showing all charging destinations in NZ whomever has installed them. Tesla have several Supercharger sites up and down the country, and many lines companies have installed chargers in their areas.
If there is one thing you can say about NZ charging it is that there is plenty of choice.
The Better NZ Trust has provided links below to the third party software "Plugshare", and the ChargeNet map.
The NZTA approved goal is to encourage the installation of a rapid charger every 75km along NZ's main State Highways so that even a low-range vehicle can travel inter-city. It has only taken four years to achieve.
Now in 2021, providers appear to be installing more chargers to satisfy demand, to cover off-the-beaten-track tourist areas, and to create redundancy in high use areas.
This map shows information uploaded by users to plugshare.com. You can see there are 500-odd public charging sites across New Zealand. The orange icons denote rapid DC chargers, which are ideal if you are just topping up or haven't got long to stop, whereas the green icons depict AC destination charging points. Destination chargers are slower charge points which in fact use the vehicle's onboard charger. They are ideal if your car will be parked for a longer length of time, such as in a parking building, shopping centre, or workplace.
If you click on the link and go to the plugshare.com site you can modify the search parameters to show only the charge sites you wish to see.
Plugshare offers a mobile phone app allowing you to find a location when you are on the move. It is available for Apple, Android and there is a separate app for Windows phones that uses the same information.
You can also visit charge.net.nz/map to find location information about their current and future fast charger units around New Zealand, or download the ChargeNet app to access their nationwide charging network on the go.
Leading The Charge is a community of drivers, enthusiasts, and advocates who are helping to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles in New Zealand by sharing knowledge and passion through public events and outreach, as well as strategic engagement with other stakeholders.
We know that driving on clean, affordable, domestic electricity is more fun, convenient, and practical. That it improves air quality for families across New Zealand. That it supports both our local economy and the global environment. That it is, quite simply, better.
We want to take you with us on this electrifying mission.
Local enthusiasts arrange events throughout the year but the two big annual events are the Leading The Charge EV Road trip and International Drive Electric week. Organised with support of many sponsors and of course the community of enthusiasts.
Leading The Charge is a project of the Better NZ Trust, whose vision is to create environmental, financial and health benefits for all New Zealanders through education, and assisting in the adoption of zero carbon renewable energy technologies. The BNZT is a proud member of the Global EV Alliance.
Contact Us: [email protected]