Joe’s interest in renewable energy started when he was 17 years old Ocean sailing and managing ship’s power demands with wind, solar and water generators.
In the early 1980’s Joe remembers power demands were light. Most people were using, no computers, fancy GPS plotters etc. Using a watch and sextant did not use electricity, however it was a constant battle trying to eke out every last amp to keep the navigation lights, VHF radio and a few other lights working.
Over the years, Joe has watched power demands increase. Solar, wind and water generators have kept pace. It is now common to run water makers, refrigerators, navigation equipment, computers and more from solar and wind at sea. Joe and Jane have been very excited about global case studies on the success of sustainable power generation, and the improvements in generation and storage of energy, at sea and on land.
Joe and Jane have always been passionate about clean, innovative and sustainable energy, and have seen changes over the decades in demand and behaviour.
Joe and Jane are able to live simply, and sailed around the planet with their two children (more on that at the end of this article).
They have traveled around the world, and feel a great connection to the ocean and the natural environment. They know from personal experience, that leaving a gentle footprint and embracing clean, innovative and sustainable technologies, isn’t only good for everyone who shares the same planet, it can be a great deal of fun as well!
In 1999 when Joe had his 1st ride in an all electric Toyota RAV 4 EV. He was working with Florida Power and Light. FPL operated 6 EVs, 2 EV1s, 2 RAV 4 EV, and 2 Ford Ranger pickup EV. The college professor assigned to the RAV 4 EV told Joe that in 5 years everyone would have an electric car, he was convinced, the EV was better in every way. The cars were crushed in the Arizona desert “Who Killed the Electric Car”
In 2000 Joe had a Civil Engineering job opportunity in the Caribbean. Joe and Jane packed up their family and moved aboard a 1956 Wooded Bahamian Ketch sailboat for a 6 month contract, they stayed 7 years.
They installed 4 -75 Watt solar panels and a wind generator which supplied all their electrical needs, and it is still meeting “Flying Circus” power needs 15 years later.
Janie home schooled the children and as part of the daily curriculum it was Emily and Drew’s job to keep the solar working at its optimum. Emily would adjust the panels angle following the sun’s movement and Drew would call out the amps from the amp meter until the sweet spot. Maximum amps for a given angle. This powered a 12 volt refrigerator, lights, computers ships navigation etc. They grew up knowing more about energy management than 99% of adults. Joe and Jane couldn’t be prouder of the kids regarding their knowledge and enthusiasm for energy management, sustainability and innovation.
In 2007 another job opportunity came up in New Zealand. The family moved to Aotearoa – the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Joe continued to follow the development of Electric Cars and feels blessed to be adopted into the EV movement in New Zealand.
“For me the EV represents a much bigger environmental, economic and social good. We have lived in some of the poorest Island nations in the world, each of those Islands depend on oil for transportation, power generation etc. All the money spent on oil goes directly offshore to a handful of giant multinational corporations. Today 3rd world nations around the globe have the ability to become energy independent and free of oil. I believe it is our duty to prove the technology, and drive down the prices so the 3rd world can adopt the technology and break the shackles of financial and environmental dominance from big oil.”
Joe and Jane continue to work tirelessly spreading the message of a better future for our country and our planet. This is a family of well-traveled, extremely intelligent, warm, kind, and engaging people who’s passion and enthusiasm are contagious. They are true innovators and pioneers and have been #LeadingTheCharge and winning over hundreds of people in the Northland area and around the country by spearheading events and campaigns that share the messages of charging, driving and teaching for a Better NZ for everyone.
Joe and Jane are a true power couple in the EV community, and we are all honoured to have them on our side and Leading the Charge.