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.
Any misgivings about weather were quickly dispelled as the sun broke out as we made ready for the 10 am start. We had a Unison gazebo, brought by Nigel Purdy, and he also brought up the 3 ‘Myth’ posters which we strung on the gazebo frame – they were read avidly by many. For the Road Trip this year we have a large 3m long banner with the RoadTrip route shown – and we are getting everyone who helps at an event to sign it – and Sean is also taking photos of all participants standing in front of their cars, for a photo montage by the end!
Steve Greenwood had three cars for the public to drive – a 24 kW Leaf, a 40 kW Leaf and a BMW i3 and there were many display cars – A Unison Outlander PHEV, a Taupo council Hyundai Ioniq, an e-NV 200 van from Contact Energy, a LEAF from TSR Motors, our Kona, Rachelle’s i3 and Sean’s Model S. Phil Round turned up later with his white Model S, and I can report that Tesla still have the magic drawing power for the public!
With a Pop-up Art Market adjacent on the Reserve there were plenty of people who wanted to take a look at the cars and chat. Elias the photographer from Mark Tantrum Photography, commissioned by EECA, was there to record the event, and he also took drone footage in the perfect weather.
The questions from the public showed a maturing of knowledge, but still the range of cars versus initial buy price proved the most thorny – Taupo residents need to feel that Wellington is a single charge away! The question of replacement batteries, should a calamitous failure happen, also worried many of the public. The fact that such calamities were few seemed to assuage some!
We did a pretty good drive count – around 30 – and everybody who drove an EV were amazed and surprised at how beautifully they drive! We estimated we would have had 400 people through the display, with many having long and detailed conversations with us all.
[Kathryn Trounson - The Better NZ Trust - 1 April 2019]