Test drive elec­tric ve­hi­cles in Far North

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Far North res­i­dents folk get the chance to test drive the lat­est elec­tric ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing high­per­for­mance Tes­las next week.

On Tues­day the Far North’s Crim­son Coast Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle High­way will be of­fi­cially opened in Kerik­eri and there will be a range of elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs) on hand for the launch.

The EVs and sup­port­ers will gather at the Count­down Kerik­eri carpark on But­ler Road from 4pm, many of them part of the an­nual Lead­ing the Charge Road Trip from Bluff to Cape Reinga.

Kerik­eri marks the fi­nal stop for the EV con­voy be­fore it heads north to com­plete the road trip on Wednes­day.

The ve­hi­cles will be pub­licly avail­able to view and test drive, and in­clude Hyundai Ioniq, BMW i3, high per­for­mance Tesla S and X mod­els, and a Nis­san eNV-200 camper van.

The Crim­son Coast EV High­way is be­ing cre­ated in part­ner­ship by the Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil, North­land Re­gional Coun­cil, Top En­ergy, ChargeNet and the Gov­ern­ment’s Low Emis­sion Ve­hi­cles Con­testable Fund ad­min­is­tered by EECA. To­gether they have opened charg­ing sta­tions at Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Kaitaia and Kerik­eri.

When the route is com­plete be­fore the end of the year it will boast 10 charg­ing sta­tions in Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Kerik­eri, Coop­ers Beach, Kaitaia, Houhora/Pukenui and Waitiki Land­ing.

The net­work means EV own­ers can eas­ily drive the

"For the Far North, the fi­nal stum­bling block for in­creased EV up­take is hav­ing enough charg­ing sta­tions in strate­gic lo­ca­tions. The Crim­son Coast EV High­way will go a long way to solv­ing that is­sue . . . "John Vu­j­cich Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil­lor

length of the Far North from Kawakawa to Te Rerenga Wairua and back again along ei­ther coast.

Far North Dis­trict Coun­cil­lor John Vu­j­cich, who has been closely in­volved in the pro­ject, said the or­gan­i­sa­tions worked closely to­gether to bring much­needed in­fra­struc­ture to the dis­trict.

“EV tech­nol­ogy is mov­ing quickly and EVs are now much more af­ford­able. For the Far North, the fi­nal stum­bling block for in­creased EV up­take is hav­ing enough charg­ing sta­tions in strate­gic Vu­j­cich said.

“The Crim­son Coast EV High­way will go a long way to solv­ing that is­sue and help in­crease the up­take of EVs across the dis­trict. This will help lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike to ex­plore and care for our great places in the Far North.”

North­land Re­gional Coun­cil has 10 EVs in its own fleet, and Chair­man Bill Shep­herd said it’s ex­cit­ing to see the elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing net­work open­ing up across the re­gion.

“This pro­ject is a

lo­ca­tions,” Mr

great ex­am­ple of how North­land is lead­ing the charge, through work­ing to­gether, to also bring wider ben­e­fits to our re­gional econ­omy and en­vi­ron­ment.”

Top En­ergy CEO Rus­sell Shaw said North­land has been an early adopter of EV tech­nol­ogy since open­ing New Zealand’s first fast-charg­ing sta­tion in Whangarei in 2014.

“As the lo­cal elec­tric­ity dis­trib­u­tor and gen­er­a­tor, we are pre­pared for the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties new tech­nolo­gies such as EVs present. With our part­ners we have solved one of the ma­jor con­cerns EV driv­ers have in re­mote ar­eas — ‘range anx­i­ety’,” Mr Shaw said.

“When the net­work is com­plete, EV driv­ers can be con­fi­dent they will not run out of power be­fore reach­ing the next charg­ing sta­tion.”

EV ve­hi­cles can be viewed and driven at the Count­down Kerik­eri carpark on But­ler Road on Tues­day April 3 from 4pm.

The Crim­son Coast EV High­way Launch will be held be­tween 4-5pm. ■ The EVs hope to call in to Kaitaia on their way to the Cape, at the Kaitaia Eco Cen­tre, near Te Ahu, from 10am on Wednes­day, be­fore the launch of Kaitaia’s EV charg­ing sta­tion in the car park be­hind Te Ahu.

For de­tails see the Eco Cen­tre Kaitaia Face­book page.

CHARG­ING: An elec­tric ve­hi­cle charges at the newly opened Crim­son Coast charg­ing sta­tion on But­ler Road, Kerik­eri.

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