EVs com­ing to Palmer­ston North

The Tribune (NZ) - - MOTORING -

Acon­voy of elec­tric cars will pass through Palmer­ston North next month. Lo­cals will have an op­por­tu­nity to in­spect the cars on April 13 – 14 and talk ‘EV’ with their driv­ers. Ex­pected to be among the ve­hi­cles are a Tesla, BMWEVs and the Nis­san Leaf.

Lo­cal EV owner Sue Pug­mire would like to see the cars of­fi­cially wel­comed by the mayor and me­dia, and is invit­ing ideas about how to go about this to make the most of the visit, as well as other op­tions to­wards mak­ing Palmer­ston North an ‘eco city’ and leader in adopt­ing sus­tain­able green clean tech­nol­ogy.


The fu­ture is on its way. Mo­torists could soon be driv­ing drive their EVs into a charg­ing sta­tion, and in­stead of wait­ing while it recharges, they sim­ply swap their dis­charged bat­tery for a ful­ly­charged one – just like with bar­be­cue gas bot­tles.

Or maybe there won’t be charg­ing sta­tions. Ve­hi­cles could be re­fu­elled wire­lessly via a smart­phone app when­ever the car is paused say at traf­fic lights, over some form of fast-charge fa­cil­ity.

At present, the world’s en­ergy com­pa­nies pro­duce 92 mil­lion bar­rels (that’s 92 mil­lion x 158 litres) of crude oil a day, with a large por­tion of that be­ing re­fined into petrol and diesel. In 25 years this is ex­pected to be 110 mil­lion bar­rels a day.

New Zealand an­nu­ally con­sumes 7.5 bil­lion litres as petrol, diesel, jet fuel. fuel oil, and bitumen – a lot for a small coun­try due maybe be­cause we have one of the old­est ve­hi­cle fleets in the de­vel­oped world, and own heaps of them.

The Mo­tor Trade As­so­ci­a­tion es­ti­mates that our pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle fleet is around 2.7 mil­lion ve­hi­cles or 574 cars per 1000 peo­ple, and grow­ing. The in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine-dom­i­nated trans­port sec­tor ac­counts for 37 per cent of New Zealand’s to­tal en­ergy use, and 43 per cent of the coun­try’s en­ergy-re­lated green­house gas emis­sions.


Car­mak­ers are now mov­ing away from build­ing brand new cars from scratch ev­ery seven years.

This is in re­sponse to con­sumer de­mands for cars to have the lat­est tech and in­no­va­tions, while the speed of change out­paces ve­hi­cle model life.

Mercedes, BMWand oth­ers want to shorten the time it takes to de­velop a car and in­tro­duce in­ter­change­able parts that can be up­dated in a ‘‘prod­uct re­fresh’’ while stick­ing to the seven-year prod­uct cy­cle. The big chal­lenge is how to in­tro­duce the lat­est whizz-bang tech as fre­quently as pos­si­ble with­out in­ter­fer­ing with the eco­nom­ics of earn­ing back the cash spent on ex­pen­sive tool­ing, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion.

Car­mak­ers are now em­ploy­ing mod­u­lar sys­tems, with some com­po­nents in use over two gen­er­a­tions of ve­hi­cle.

Hard­ware, steel, en­gines, crank-cases, trans­mis­sions will have long life cy­cles, while soft­ware and pro­ces­sors will be in­cor­po­rated with po­ten­tial up­grades in mind dur­ing the ve­hi­cle’s life cy­cle.


Car man­u­fac­turer nanoFlow­cell has of­fered a sneak pre­view of the new car in its Quant range, the Quantino at the Geneva Mo­tor Show.

Mar­keted as the world’s first ever low-volt­age car, rated at 48 volts, its mo­tors are pow­ered by elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from a process of fil­ter­ing ionic liq­uid – ba­si­cally salt­wa­ter – through sep­a­rate cells where a ‘‘cold burn­ing’’ takes place. Ox­i­da­tion and re­duc­tion pro­cesses then pro­duce elec­tri­cal power for the drive train.

The nanoFlow­cell bat­tery is said to run 20-times fur­ther than a con­ven­tional lead-acid bat­tery and 5-times fur­ther than lithi­u­mion tech­nol­ogy.

The smaller brother of the Quant sports car which de­buted a year ago, the Quantino has a top speed of over 200kmh and a pre­dicted range of more than 1000km.

The 2015 Tesla S P85D bat­tery­pow­ered car.

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