Using electric vehicles while on the job may not be far away, with a year-long trial taking place in New Plymouth. Read the Taranaki Daily News story below.
Community-based health and social service provider Tui Ora will have an electric vehicle (EV) to drive for a year as part of a trial with Powerco, to gauge the idiosyncrasies of using EVs for business fleets.
"It's a great opportunity to collaborate with a corporate fleet that's doing something very different than us, but [also] has really different needs from us in terms of getting around the community," said network transformation manager Eric Pellicer from Powerco.
The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf was presented to Tui Ora on Tuesday with the staff singing a short waiata.
Pellicer said while it was only one vehicle, it would give them a snapshot.
He said currently the car could only travel 162 kilometres but they were planning on setting up a fast charge port in Hawera soon so the vehicles could get down and back in a day.
The company also wanted to see how the use of electric vehicles would impact their power network as more people use electric cars, and have installed a charging station at Tui Ora.
Eight staff will be using the vehicle and providing feedback.
Tui Ora respiratory nurse Caroline Weterings said the car handled well and she hadn't noticed much difference to a petrol car, apart from the quiet.
"Whatever we can do for the environment is fantastic," she said.
Powerco chief executive Nigel Barbour said electric vehicles were the future of domestic transport in New Zealand.
"While we will be gathering important data for our own use, we also want the trial to benefit the community at large," he said.
"Electric vehicles powered by renewable energy will play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions .
"This trial will help us understand what is required for our electricity network to accommodate electric vehicle growth."
The Government has a target of 64,000 electric vehicles in New Zealand by 2021.