Exciting news! More electric vehicles are coming to Thames. And, You can drive one. This month T3 will be hosting an electric vehicle (EV) event at the Thames Civic Centre, where the general public will have the opportunity to drive an EV, talk to experts in the field and some current owners. This event has come about thanks to the determined effort of two of our local EV owner-enthusiasts John and Ian, who are also members of T3.
New Zealand produces 80% of our electricity from renewable sources such as hydro-dams, wind and geothermal. If you combine this with the fact that an EV is 4 times more efficient than your own car’s internal combustion engine, EVs come out using only 20-25% of the energy that fossil fuels do. You would have to pay 30c per litre at the pump to beat that (imagine!). But, don’t just take our word- in March Air New Zealand confirmed the purchase of 75 fully electric vehicles for the ground fleet. The people of New Zealand are also voting with their feet; electric vehicle ownership has also been on the rise from sitting around 250 at the beginning of 2014 to 1128 this month, the largest number of those being in Auckland.
The world’s excitement regarding EVs is demonstrated by the Tesla Model 3. This new “lower priced”, 5 seater offering (US$30,000) is less than half the cost of the next model, yet has a similar 200 mile plus (320 km) range, and a brisk performance. Manufacture is starting at the end of the year, and the company is taking orders now with only a $1000 deposit. In the first weekend, the offer attracted 267,000 deposits!
EV’s can charge where-ever there is a powerpoint, but despite this the range of travel has long perceived as being a limitation. The reality is quite a different story as they easily cover the the average urban commute, and with planning can handle longer cross-country (<120km) distances too. Fortunately Fast Charging technology which will allow charging times to drop from 6 hours to 25 minutes has already been planned for New Zealand. More excitingly the first Fast Charger for Coromandel is already planned for Thames making us much more accessible and friendly to EV drivers one and all (but especially the Aucklanders).
T3’s interest in EVs is part of our ongoing project to move our community towards sustainable, locally generated sources of energy. This includes increased domestic insulation, low combustion wood stoves, photovoltaic and micro-hydro generation, and aligns with a Thames Community Board vision for the town described in the Thames Urban Development Strategy.
Sunday’s event is being held in conjunction with the Better NZ Trust Annual Roadshow. There will be Nissan Leafs. There will be Teslas. There will be food from Aroha Catering. Come and see the future and join the rEVolution.
Where: Thames Civic Centre, Mary Street Thames
When: Sunday April 10th, 9-11am
What else: $10 raffle (prize is your very own week in a Tesla, luxury accommodation and grocery gift vouchers)