In light of the waterways disaster gripping the country, the environment has become the primary concern of most New Zealanders. Green is the color of the nation (literally and figuratively) and everyone is looking for ways to fight climate change. One great way to go green is with an electric vehicle (EV). While going electric might not make much of an impact in most countries, New Zealand is a perfect fit for the new technology.
Electric Works in New Zealand
Not every country is a good match for electric vehicles. Countries that rely on fossil fuels for most of their power production are not ideal for EVs. An EV still relies on the grid when charging. If the grid relies on fossil fuels, then the EV is still indirectly powered by fossil fuels and pollution is just relegated to the plants. New Zealand relies on clean and renewable energy for most (80 percent or more) of its power production. While electricity in the country is still tainted by fossil fuels, it doesn’t come near the levels of countries like the US, UK, or even Australia.
Modern Electric Cars Drive Better
New Zealand’s environmental mindset and reputation are clearly apparent in the multitude of electric car dealerships in the country. From the reliable Nissans to the expensive Audis, all types of electric cars are available to every citizen. EVs from Nissan dealers in Auckland have come a long way from the slow and lumbering cars of yesteryear. The modern electric car now drives and accelerates faster, handles better, and decelerates and stops with more precision. Mileage is the only category that standard vehicles have an edge on EVs — but advancement in technology and better batteries are narrowing the gap. With more than 18,000 EVs on the road and a forecast of 64,000 by 2021, electric cars might just become the new normal in New Zealand.
The increasing number of EVs has prompted a similar rise in charging stations — with more than 500 stations now operating in the country. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff even spearheaded an initiative to replace half of the council’s fleet of 1,000 cars with electric vehicles, a testament to both the efficiency of electric vehicles and the government’s commitment to a green future.
Upping Your Efficiency
The grid is 20 percent fossil-powered, but you can increase your efficiency, and thereby reduce your electrical consumption, by opting for a lighter model like a Nissan or a Skoda. You can also reduce your indirect fossil-fuel consumption by opting for a residential solar power system. Solar panels are becoming quite popular in New Zealand, the intense and almost constant sun making it an ideal place for solar energy. A typical solar energy system can last for 30-40 years before losing significant (20 percent) efficiency — but they usually pay for themselves through savings on your electricity bills within 10-12 years.
New Zealand is one of the greenest countries in the world and the environment is at the forefront of everyone’s concerns. With the government aiming for a fully renewable and fossil-free future, it seems inevitable that electric cars will soon dominate the country’s streets.