Powerful words from Fraser Whineray, the Chief Executive of Mighty River Power at the Government Electric Vehicles (EV) policy launch last week.
It has been easy to overlook in the political debate that has been going on for a few days the underlying reason why we are even talking about EVs.
Climate change is happening, right here, right now. Regardless of policy, as Fraser Whineray so clearly stated, the adoption of EVs is one of the biggest things that we as New Zealanders can do to significantly reduce the impact that we are having on our environment.
For the last 2 years, The Better NZ Trust have been reaching out to the New Zealand Public, attending schools, exhibitions and local events as well as establishing an annual “Road Trip” driving several EVs from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and being joined along the way by many of New Zealand’s EV drivers.
Only last month, sponsored by EECA, and many others, The Better NZ Trust, in partnership with our “local champions”, reached out to thousands of New Zealanders, stopping at over 40 towns and cities throughout the North and South Island answering questions, offering test drives, and generally promoting the use of Electric Vehicles. The Road trip gained significant media exposure through local and national print, TV and Radio as well as International coverage boosted by the presence of Chelsea Sexton, a prominent US electric car advocate and advisor.
“The single most effective thing we can do to get people to consider EVs is to have that opportunity to see them, to talk to people, or drive one themselves” Chelsea says “For twenty years we have been calling it getting more butts in seats and universally the reaction is – Oh goodness it’s just like a REAL car – they totally are, and in many cases they are better! “
Sean Dick, one of the trustees, did the trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff this year and he says “The primary goal of the Better NZ Trust over the next year is to further increase awareness of Electric Vehicles throughout New Zealand and we now have a huge network of Evangelists who will be helping us promote them. Included in the Government’s package is a nation-wide electric vehicle information and promotion campaign, which can only boost what we have already been doing at a private level”