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Rock down to Electric Avenue

Rock down to Electric Avenue
Deputy Chief Executive Ruth Smithers, one of the e-Golf drivers

Last Updated: April 2018

Community Nurse, Romane Stockman walks in to the room and says:

“I love it. I absolutely love the e-car and I want one.”

Romane is one of eight Tui Ora staff chosen to trial an electric vehicle (EV), a 2015 e-Golf supplied by PowerCo as part of a year-long-trial.

The trial kicked off in November last year and four months on the drivers are overwhelmingly positive about the experience.

Executive Kaumātua Sonny Murray says that he drives the car about once a month:

“It would be more but it’s always booked.

“My partner and I are considering trading in our regular Golf for an e-Golf. We like that the cars are comfortable, quiet and better for the environment.”

Respiratory Nurse, Caroline Weterings is equally positive:

“I really like the car. I was surprised to find out how powerful it was. Overtaking is really easy.”

Caroline drives the car at least once a fortnight, mostly to visit clients in the New Plymouth area.

Tui Ora was chosen by PowerCo for the collaboration as staff travel throughout Taranaki visiting clients. PowerCo are recording information from the EV charger so they can understand the impact of increased e-vehicle usage on their network.

Romane says that the electric car vibe makes her feel good:

“I prefer it to the other fleet cars. It’s got a really good radio system with lots of channels, reversing sensors and lots of power.

"You feel better about driving too when you know you aren’t damaging the environment in the same way as a regular car.”

As a first generation EV the car only has a range of between 100-150km meaning that it does have its limitations. Staff say that this is the main drawback as it means traveling further afield has been tricky.

In February it was announced that charging stations will soon open in Opunake, Waverly and Stratford. In addition, a charge station recently opened at Pak N Save in Hawera suggesting the problem of finding a place to charge may soon be a thing of the past.

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