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New Zealand to trial electric cars

Posted by Car Geek on August 15, 2007

Meridian Energy, a New Zealand electricity provider to around 200,000 homes and businesses, is planning to trial the use of electric vehicles early next year. The company’s CEO, Keith Turner, believes that all-electric cars are the next step in the evolution of vehicles (after hybrids and plug-in hybrids) and feels that the required technology has reached a tipping point.

“Advances in motor and control technology, and especially battery technology, mean that all-electric cars will be appearing in the market in the not too distant future,” he was quoted as saying in a recent press release.

The transport sector is a major emitter in New Zealand, unlike Australia where transport accounts for only 15% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Meridian Energy hopes to prove the viability of electric vehicles as a clean mode of transport, as New Zealand’s only certified carbon-neutral electricity provider.

“The prize in making the move to electric vehicles comes when you recharge them with renewable electricity.  Meridian will be able to demonstrate renewable, zero-emission, certified carbon neutral mobility,” added Dr Turner.

“There is no point in somebody feeling good about driving round town in an electric vehicle if the electricity they’re using has come from a coal-burning plant.  All they’ve done is shifted the emissions from their tail pipe to a smoke-stack over somebody else’s town.”

The trial will aim to achieve three main goals:
1. To test how electric cars perform in New Zealand conditions
2. To find out what New Zealanders think about electric cars
3. To encourage the auto industry to look more closely at opportunities in New Zealand.

The specific vehicles to be trialled have not yet been identified by Meridian Energy.

(Source: Meridian Energy, via Scoop)

Posted in Carbon neutral, Electric vehicles, New Zealand | 3 Comments »