Electric vehicle pioneer returns to New Zealand

Chelsea Sexton, a leading US advocate for Electric Vehicles, is touring New Zealand in June and July. She will be speaking in Wellington on the 27th June at a symposium co-hosted by Wellington City and Greater Wellington Regional Council “The Future is Electric” as well as attending ten-year anniversary screenings of the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car” throughout New Zealand.

Chelsea was a key member of the General Motors EV1 program which, 20 years ago, produced one of the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran solely on electricity, produced no emissions, and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry. With all the hype recently surrounding the Tesla Model 3 launch, there must be many current and retired General Motors executives wondering “if only”.

So why was this car reclaimed by the manufacturer and crushed, consigned to history, only to have Elon Musk and Tesla since take the electric car world by storm? The 10 year anniversary screenings will explore this question with both the film and a full question-and-answer session with Chelsea, including what has changed in the last 10 years, the ongoing repeat offending by many of the guilty parties, and what the future may bring.

In the light of the New Zealand government’s recent release of their EV policy ( http://www.transport.govt.nz/ev ) and Tesla coming to NZ, the timing of Chelsea’s visit could not have been more relevant.

“We have long known that there is a market for fun, affordable electric vehicles- in New Zealand and worldwide. Record-setting sales of the Nissan LEAF as well as 400,000+ pre-orders for the Tesla Motors Model 3 only underscore that fact”, she said recently, adding, “mainstream automakers like Mitsubishi and BMW are making plug-in vehicles available in New Zealand and that is crucial; I am heartened that Tesla will be following in their footsteps.”

Despite being known for “killing the electric car” many years ago, General Motors are now fighting back with the introduction of the Chevrolet Bolt. In a clear poke at Tesla Motors, GM’s VP of Powertrain, Dan Nicholson, said recently, “I am very proud of the Chevrolet Bolt that’s coming out, which will be the first to market as a long-range affordable battery electric vehicle. It will be in production by the end of 2016, so it’s not necessary to put down $1,000 and wait until 2018 or some time after that.”

The Better NZ Trust have arranged exclusive screenings of “Who Killed the Electric Car” details HERE

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