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.


The Leading the Charge Great EV Road Trip is run by the Better NZ Trust, supported by the Energy and Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA). Better NZ is a charitable trust promoting the adoption of zero carbon renewable energy technologies. At present it is focusing on actively encouraging the growth of a vibrant EV community in New Zealand, and the Road Trip is the biggest event on the trust’s calendar.

Better NZ Trust chairwoman Kathryn Trounson says The Great EV Road Trip has become a popular annual fixture for electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts nationwide and — importantly — for people who don’t own an EV but would like to know more.

‘‘It is a fun and easy way for people to find out everything they ever wanted to know about electric vehicles and to get a chance to drive or ride in a variety of electric vehicles for free.’’

Trounson says the Great EV Road Trip will be visiting large and small centres nationwide, and has extended its reach into a number of previously unvisited smaller towns this year because greatly improved battery storage technologies, coupled with an ever-expanding nationwide charging network, means that electric vehicles can now go anywhere in New Zealand.

She encourages EV owners to come along to Road Trip events in their town or city: ‘‘There’s a real buzz when we all get together, so come along and join in the fun!’’

When, where, and what:
April 4: 3-5pm, Wanaka (lakefront near log cabin), test drives & information session
April 5: 3.30-5pm, Te Anau (Fiordland Event Centre), information session
April 7: 10am-2pm, Blackmount (Mangapiri Downs Organic Stud Farm), information session at farm open day
April 8: 6-7pm , Alexandra (Hawkdun Rise Winery), information session
April 9: 3-5pm, Mosgiel (New World car park), test drives & information session
April 10: 10am-2pm, Dunedin (Octagon), test drives & information session
April 10: 3-5.30pm, Dunedin (Museum), test drives & information session
April 12: 3-5pm, Tekapo (Aotea Gifts), information session
April 13: 10.30am-noon, Geraldine (Village Green), information session

- The Dunedin, Otago Museum event will be followed by a screening of The Revenge of the Electric Car documentary.

Story by David Thomson

Photo: Gerard O'Brien

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