28 April 2017

Electric Car Road Show

New Zealand generates most of its power from hydroelectric so is a clean source. I don't think any major dams will be built in the country again as there are too many environmental hurdles to jump these days but I digress. It is a country that could clean up its vehicle pollution by encouraging electric but apparently doesn't have the money to do it.

A 10 cent per litre tax on fossil fuel would be a good way to fund it. The proceeds could be put aside to provide discounts on new vehicles and improve the inadequate electric charging infrastructure. However, increasing any tax is not always a popular move in a democracy.

So a privately run road show is travelling the country promoting electric cars. I popped along and soon got chatting with a Renault Zoe owner. He was going to switch to a newer, better virtually new model. An importer is bringing a batch in from the UK. I mentioned I'd never ridden in an electric car before so he asked if I wanted a spin in it. I was surprised bu agreed and he insisted I drove it. I enjoyed the quietness and the driving experience.

I then chatted to a Hyundai rep who brought along the new Ioniq. Larger than the Zoe, it still has a very limited range. As with all such cars, the purchase price is unrealistic compared to fossil fuel powered cars.

In summary, the problems are the initial purchase price and range (as I only need one vehicle). Around town it would be brilliant but wishing to drive long distances and the charging / range issue won't work for me. I was told in two years time the range will be competitive. As for pricing, maybe it will be longer for that to be realistic if not subsidised.

It was a good idea to bring a range of cars to places around the country. Nissan, Renault, Hyundai, Tesla, Audi and BMW featured in the road trip to where I am. I would like to go that way but I can't see it happening for me.

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