Electric Vehicle drivers driving into the future at Bayfair

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A fleet of cars is set to make its way across the country, though you won’t hear them coming.

This month, electric vehicles (EV’s) and their silent motors will be driving into the future on the annual ‘Leading the Charge’ road trip around New Zealand, to showcase how electric vehicles have become an increasingly viable and attractive option for everyday road users and businesses that are making the shift to electric.

With events being held all around the country, Bayfair Shopping Centre is putting Tauranga on the map once again, as one of the main meeting destinations for drivers participating in the annual road trip. All fourteen drivers will meet at Bayfair, plug in and charge up on Friday May 5th 12-2pm.

Bayfair Shopping Centre has been setting industry-leading trends in sustainability over the past decade and has turned its focus to supporting environmentally conscious drivers. Since the installation of the first EV charging stations in the region, Bayfair has become a platform for local owners to connect with others and discuss the electric vehicle experience and the practicalities of charging while you shop.

The road trip progression reflects the exponential growth in EVs and charging infrastructure as well as the interest in EVs throughout New Zealand. The 2017 Road Trip will be hosting such a wide range of vehicles would not have been possible even six months ago. This year’s meetup is set to be even bigger than previous years, with more than fourteen cars participating in the across country road trip. Steve West, CEO of ChargeNet NZ says “This is our third road trip – when we started in 2015 there was 1 fast charging station in New Zealand and about 600 EVs – now we have over 3000 EVs and we are heading towards 100 fast chargers. The growth has been exponential”

The convoy will be traveling the country and stopping off along the way to hold public events, which aim to increase knowledge of, and familiarity with, low-emission vehicles and associated technologies among the businesses and consumers in the region and, by extension, the nation. Through public exposure to these chargers at the centre, and by sharing knowledge and stories with fellow EV drivers – Bayfair aims to help overcome current market barriers and accelerate uptake.

Steve Ellingford, Centre Manager at Bayfair Shopping Centre says, “We are excited to be a meeting place for drivers from all over the country this year; it is a great event to be a part of. Some of our customers have described our charging stations as a scene from the future, almost science fiction. But this is the future, EV’s are very real and they are here to stay.

“We have a vision to empower, educate and change public attitudes; all of whom are at different stages of their sustainability journeys. We want to make sustainable practices the norm – including increasing uptake of electric vehicles. Hearing about other people’s success stories has sparked interest, increased knowledge and prompted members of the community to consider replacing their petrol-powered cars with an electric vehicle. We hope that these sustainable habits and practices will eventually trickle down into kiwi homes.”

  • Approximately 80% of New Zealand energy is generated from renewable sources, meaning electric vehicles driven on New Zealand roads have an 80% reduction in CO² compared to internal combustion engines;
  • Transport is responsible for 44% of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions and around 16% of our total greenhouse gas emissions;
  • As at March 2017, there are currently 3,120 electric vehicles officially registered in New Zealand, according to the Ministry of Transport.

If you haven’t seen an electric vehicle for yourself, come along to the event at Bayfair Shopping Centre or talk to a local dealer. At the event, you will be able to talk to some of the owners or read information about the current EV situation in New Zealand and what steps are being taken to increase uptake.

This year’s road trip participants include BMW i3 s, Hyundai Ioniqs, PHEV Mitsubishi Outlander, Audi E-tron, several Tesla Model S, Renault Zoe and a Nissan Leaf.