There can be few people nowadays who deny the glaring fact that the human race has contributed significantly to the global warming that we are currently experiencing. Fiercer storms, higher sea surges, greater rainfall and higher summer temperatures all point in the same direction, and without some serious intervention by us, for us, it is likely that many coastal towns will rival Venice in the not too distant future.
That being said, it has been proven that the burning of fossil fuels stokes the amount of free carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and were there to be some mechanisms to reduce our carbon footprint, then we would be wise to attempt any and all of those methods. CO2 is already at a worldwide level of over 400 ppm, and we can ill afford for it to go much higher.
In New Zealand we are lucky to have clean, affordable and renewable electricity generation nationwide, and the more we can convert internal combustion engines (ICE) to this fuel the better our air quality will be for us and future generations.
The Better NZ Trust is a community of drivers, enthusiasts and advocates who are promoting the shift to Electric Vehicles (EV), of all types, by sharing our knowledge and passion through public events, like the recently completed International Drive Electric Week, and outreach into the wider community. We EV drivers are already sold on driving electric, as it is a quiet and smooth ride, and we want to enthuse others to join us in a very exciting journey.
The Trust during 2016 had two big national events – the Tip to Toe Road Trip in April – where Six EVs drove from Cape Reinga to Bluff – and a “Who Killed the Electric Car’ movie tour in June, when the Californian EV advocate Chelsea Sexton engaged with audiences at each showing of the film with a Q and A session, as part of the Trust’s aim to encourage EV take-up. In addition, the Government, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), tasked the Trust to organise EV events during September, to coincide with International Drive electric Week, and with a very a short lead time, the Trust mobilised over 50 events over a 10 day span up and down the whole country.
As a result of this outreach in 2016, we can confidently say that the best way to encourage people to think electric for their next vehicle purchase, is to get them into the drivers, or even the passenger seat and experience that EV grin for themselves! The Trust is committed to this form of advertising, and would encourage anyone to subscribe on the ‘LeadingtheCharge’ web site and request a test ride! In October 2015 there were over 800 EVs in NZ, today that figure is just over 1900, and the Government’s stated aim is to get to 64,000 by the end of 2021.
Did I mention that the ride in an electric car is smooth and quiet?
But perhaps the most compelling argument for moving to an EV is the cost of the fuel. Using electricity is as though you were paying 30 cents a litre for petrol or diesel, and as a consequence of an electric motor having very few moving parts, there is minimal maintenance, apart from rotating the tyres and filling the windscreen washer bottle! At current prices that is about one sixth of the cost of petrol! In a Nissan Leaf 100km of travel would cost $3.00, and in a top end Tesla about $5.50!
So to get more information please visit www.leadingthecharge.org.nz where blogs from the road trips will fill you in with more details and photographs from the drivers! And watch out for more information regarding the 2017 Road trip which will start in Invercargill in April!