EV convoy heading to Thames

If you want to learn more about electric cars then head down to the Thames Civic Centre this weekend.

A convoy of electric cars are travelling from Cape Reinga to Bluff this month to raise awareness about electric vehicles and will be stopping in at the civic centre this Sunday, from 9-11am.

The annual #LeadingTheCharge Road Trip is sponsored by the Better NZ Trust, an organisation working to promote zero-carbon renewable energy technology.

Spark, which has installed electric vehicle chargers in a number of its phone boxes, including one in Waitakaruru, is also sponsoring the event.

The Thames-Coromandel District Council says there’s also an opportunity for people to win either a Tesla to drive for a week, a stay in a luxury off-grid bach or $800 of New World vouchers.

“The event comes a few months after the first commercial electric vehicle charge point on the Coromandel was installed, at the Kopu Cafe.

“The PlugShare website also lists seven other charge points on the Coromandel, most of them at motels and campgrounds.”

The cars making the trip are a Tesla Model S P90 full electric, Tesla Model S P85+ electric, Tesla Model S 85 (LHD) full electric, Mitsubishi Outlander plugin hybrid SUV and a BMW i3 plugin hybrid SUV.

American electric car advocate and advisor Chelsea Sexton will also be attending.

Electric cars have no clutch or gears, and accelerate more quickly and smoothly, in a ’sporty’ way, when compared to typical petrol cars.

A fully electric engine has fewer moving parts, no spark plugs or engine oil, and requires less maintenance than a petrol equivalent. Such cars are extremely quiet and reduce noise pollution. Travelling down hills or braking recharges the batteries, and is known as regenerative braking.

The cars have a range of 120-140km, and take between 30 minutes and 5 hours to charge, depending on the car and charger. Filling up at the Kopu Cafe costs $2.50/per hour.

The #LeadingTheCharge Road Trip stops in at the Thames Civic Centre on Sunday, April 10, from 9-11am. For more information visit the Better NZ Trust’s website at: betternz.org

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