A driver at a hydrogen pump at a Los Angeles gas station refuels a futuristic, zero-emission Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen-fuel-cell powered automobile. The vehicle has a range of 150 miles. An electronic plug-in cable controls the refilling process.
Image Credit: (iStock) pandapix
Low energy efficiency is already a major problem for petrol and diesel vehicles. Typically, only 20% of the overall well-to-wheel energy is actually used to power these vehicles. This low energy efficiency is the primary reason why fossil fuel vehicles are emissions-intensive and relatively expensive to run.
The other 80% is lost through oil extraction, refinement, transport, evaporation, and engine heat.
[Article Credit: The Conversation - 30 Nov 2018]
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.
A convoy of electric vehicles (EVs) are buzzing into Lower Hutt this month as part of the #LeadingTheCharge country wide road trip.
The exhibition will arrive at Dowse square on Thursday 22 March after having travelled roughly half of their journey from Bluff to Cape Reinga.
Aimed at promoting electric vehicles the silent convoy of BMW i3, Hyundai IONIQ, Nissan Leaf and Tesla will allow Hutt City residents and CBD businesses to see a range of EVs, chat to drivers and even take the wheel for that important ‘test drive’.
[Press Release - Hutt City Council - 18 June 2018]Read more
POWER OF THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?
Probably not, but meteorologist Edward Lorenz's chaos theory, the Butterfly Effect, has evolved in popular culture to describe the ability of a small action to create a larger effect.
Nowhere in New Zealand was this more evident than in Dunedin last week. This Little But Mighty city hosted a kaleidoscope of EVents during Tech Week—a huge effort by local volunteers and guests. Here’s the roundup.Read more
The annual Leading the Charge road trip is over for 2018. Another great adventure was enjoyed by the dozen or so drivers who took in large sections, or all of, the route this year.
By time we got to the start, ran the course, and took test rides, the total distance traveled was just under 6000km.Read more
Council was keen to support the 'Leading the Charge Road Trip' of Electric Vehicles (EVs) from Bluff to Cape Reinga when it arrived in Whangarei on Tuesday 3 April.
[Fuseworks Media - Voxy - 11 April 2018]Read more
Northland is taking charge of its progression to more environmentally friendly transport options, with a national tour of electric vehicles (EVs) marking the launch of some extra charging stations.
The Better NZ Trust brought its Leading the Charge EV tour through Northland this week, stopping off in locations across the region while on its way to Cape Reinga from Bluff.
The third annual EV promotional convoy of seven cars saw a Tesla Model X, three Tesla Model S’s, a Hyundai Ioniq, Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 all being displayed in towns across NZ.
Starting in Bluff on March 14, it stopped off at Whangarei on Tuesday and touched down in Kerikeri that evening, where a charge station was launched, before landing at the Cape on Wednesday.
[Christine Allen - Northlanders - 5 April 2018]Read more
The Leading the Charge roadtrip made its way into Hamilton on March 28, so I snuck down from Auckland to see how they were going.
[Rachel Hadfield - EV Talk - 29 Mar 2018]Read more