Leading the Charge EV tour kicks off again

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Words: Robert Barry   |   Photos Leading the Charge Tour
15 Mar 2018

The third annual Leading the Charge EV tour from Bluff to Cape Reinga has kicked off once again to promote and encourage more Kiwi into zero emission electric vehicles.

Vehicles taking part in this years tour include the Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, and some Tesla vehicles. It started in Bluff on March 14 and will finish at Cape Reinga on April 3.

Drivers in the tour are out to once again prove that driving long-distance using 100 per cent electric power is possible with today’s charging infrastructure.

The event Organiser, Better NZ Trust is encouraged by the interest in the road trip and is calling on all EV drivers to join one of the many events planned throughout the country.

“The road trip is growing year on year and is a great opportunity for people to find out more about EVs, see a wide range of vehicles, ask questions of owners, and get behind the wheel of one,” says Trust chairperson Kathryn Trounson.

“We’re also encouraged by the interest and support that the new Government has shown in the road trip and welcome its attendance at the various events held around the country.”

ChargeNet chief executive officer Steve West says he is pleased by the development of the road trip, and the electric vehicle sector more broadly.

“When the first road trip took place in 2015, there were two cars taking part, one fast charging station and only about 600 EVs on the road,” says West.

“There are now over 7000 EVs registered in New Zealand and are heading towards 100 fast chargers," says West.

“The 2015 Leading the Charge tour was initially planned to tackle range anxiety head on and prove that an EV could drive up and down the length of New Zealand with relative ease – and a little careful planning, says Trounson.

“Since the first tour, ChargeNet has made the entire country accessible to electric vehicle owners and should be applauded for its ‘build it and they will use it’ mentality,” Trounson says.

“As such, the planning of this year’s trip was made so much easier for the shorter-range cars.”

This year will also see two French students, on a seven-month EV trip around New Zealand, joining the tour in a Nissan eNV-200 camper van loaned to them by Jucy.

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