Electric car star hits the road to Waikato campus

5 April 2016

Electric vehicles offer New Zealand a great opportunity to tackle climate change and related problems, but it is a challenge to move to high levels of uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).

An international electric car superstar, electric vehicle owners, enthusiasts, and researchers are coming to the University of Waikato in a bid to help tackle this challenge by sharing their knowledge and passion for Electric Vehicle Technology.

Chelsea Sexton, from the documentary ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’, will be joining the convoy for part of the ‘Leading the Charge’ road trip to Hamilton. She will also give a public presentation along with Waikato researchers Professor Barry Barton, Professor Mark Apperley and Dr Mike Duke.

One of New Zealand’s leading energy, natural resources and environmental law specialists Professor Barry Barton says a number of perceptual factors contribute to consumer uncertainly and doubt about electric vehicles, and the ‘Leading the Charge’ road trip is a spectacular way to address those issues and improve perceptions of electric vehicles.

“However, research also indicates that in addition to consumer awareness, Government policies need to be reviewed to encourage the use of electric vehicles in New Zealand, particularly when transport is a rapidly growing contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

The convoy will park by the University of Waikato’s Student Centre on Monday 11 April from 11.30am-12.30pm for the public to view. The much talked about Tesla with “Ludicrous” mode will be featured, enabling the vehicle to go from zero to 100kmh in 3 seconds. The group aims to provide the public with the opportunity to look at and sit in the cars, ask questions and marvel at the future of vehicle technology.

A public workshop will be held to give Kiwis the opportunity to meet and hear leading electric vehicle experts from New Zealand and overseas. The workshop will discuss the obstacles electric vehicles have faced in the US, outline successful international policy measures that can be adapted in New Zealand, and highlight the importance of researching and teaching electric vehicle engineering to equip the workforce of the future.

The workshop runs from 1pm-2pm in the Concert Chamber, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Light refreshments will be provided in the foyer. Parking is available at Gate 1 on Hillcrest Road in Hamilton at a cost of $2. Payment should be made by the ‘pay by plate’ machines in the parking area.

To attend the workshop, please RSVP by emailing Mylene Rakena in Te Piringa – Faculty of Law at [email protected]. The workshop is hosted by Better New Zealand Trust and Waikato University’s Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL).