A RE­PORT FROM THE FRONT LINES OF EV OWN­ER­SHIP

Yes, yes, we all know the ben­e­fits of EVs. They’re good for the environment, cheap to run and quiet as a mouse. But what’s EV own­er­ship re­ally like? To find out, we talked to EV owner and en­thu­si­ast Me­gan May, who is also the founder of Lit­tle Bird Or­gani

Idealog - - IDEALOG / HYUNDAI - If you're look­ing to elec­trify your fleet or your own 0800 493 ve­hi­cle, call Hyundai New Zealand on 640 www.hyundai.co.nz/elec­tric-cars or visit

Me­gan May's love af­fair with elec­tric cars started with a for­tu­itous ride in a Tesla. While it was a fun ex­pe­ri­ence, May says she also knew the car was well out of her price range, so she wanted to find an EV more suited to her.

So, late last year, she started do­ing re­search around what was avail­able, with her key con­cerns be­ing price, looks and range.

“We looked around for a while and when I found the IONIQ, it was just the clear win­ner. In terms of de­sign, in terms of range and the price point was re­ally good too.

“I got in touch with Hyundai and now I'm driv­ing it.”

She’s cer­tainly not the only one. More than 250 Hyundai IONIQs have

Peo­ple still seem to think that you’re l os­ing some­thing switch­ing to an elec­tric ve­hi­cle, as i f i t’s a com­pro­mise i n some way – but I j ust don't re­ally think that's true at all. Me­gan May Lit­tle Bird Or­gan­ics

been sold in New Zealand since the model was in­tro­duced last year – mak­ing it the coun­try’s best sell­ing EV – and West­pac has just added a fur­ther 65 new IONIQ elec­tric and plug-in hy­brids to its cor­po­rate fleet.

Though much of the dialogue around EVs is fu­ture fo­cused, it seems that the elec­tric ve­hi­cle fu­ture is al­ready here.

“For ex­am­ple, peo­ple have the per­cep­tion of EVs be­ing slow, but the IONIQ is not some­thing you have to drive around slowly – it goes re­ally fast. It has all the bells and whis­tles of any good car, but you don't have to pol­lute the environment to drive it.”

May says that she’s still dis­cov­er­ing the ben­e­fits that an EV ve­hi­cle of­fers.

“Dur­ing the week I never go to a petrol sta­tion,” she says. “I just charge it at home dur­ing the night. And I only have to do that once a week.”

Add to that pref­er­en­tial park­ing at a grow­ing num­ber of lo­ca­tions, as well as ac­cess to fast tran­sit lanes on the mo­tor­way, and EVs of­fer Kiwi driv­ers more than sim­ply a clean, green ve­hi­cle op­tion.

And now that she’s got some time be­hind the wheel, how has she coped with that clas­sic (but in­creas­ingly ir­rel­e­vant) is­sue of range anx­i­ety?

“I don't worry at all,” she says. “I can get from Auck­land to Tau­ranga in one charge, so I don't need to even think about it most of the time.”

And when it comes to longer trips, May in­sists it’s just a case of plan­ning ahead, just as you would on any trip.

“From Auck­land, we go up north a lot and there are plenty of op­tions,” she says. “We will usu­ally stop in Wark­worth and we'll go down to the nearby river while the car charges. It takes about 20 min­utes to charge fully, so it doesn't even add time to the trip, es­pe­cially if you have kids.”

So, what about those look­ing to make the leap? Any ad­vice for the EV cu­ri­ous?

“Just do your re­search, know what's out there and go for a drive in one,” she says. “That will dis­pel any myths you've got around elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

“It brings a light­ness and a fun to driv­ing around. Do­ing the right thing can some­times feel a bit heavy. But do­ing good stuff shouldn’t be that way. It should be ex­cit­ing and you should be up­lifted by it, and that’s what this is. So yes, you could say I’m con­vinced.”

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