Driving the dream – with clean, green renewable energy
Drive Electric is a not-for-profit with one goal – making electric vehicle ownership in New Zealand mainstream.
Not just because it’s the right thing to do – and it is, for the sake of our future and our children’s future – but because it makes sense. The technology and the infrastructure are here, right now.
It’s never been more sensible or affordable to drive electric than here in New Zealand, where 80% of our electricity is generated from renewable resources.
Why NZ should be driving electric
New Zealand is lagging behind and we shouldn’t be. We could make a great business case for adopting electric mobility nationwide, with benefits for individuals, companies and the country.
What are these benefits?
- As a country, we’d spend far less on oil imports becoming energy independent
- Our cities and motorways will be quiet and free of exhaust emissions – health benefits for children, pedestrians, cyclists and everyone else.
- Consistent with our ‘100% Pure’ Kiwi image
- Attractive to tourists
- A great card to play in climate negotiations
- Create new skill sets and opportunities for growth
Removing the barriers to electric driving
We have one aim – getting more EV’s driving on NZ roads. Here’s how we do that.
Spreading the word, and the experience
PlugIn is all about education. We want to dispel the myths and misconceptions about electric driving, and to give people the actual experience of driving an EV.
Creating a common goal
As a result of our successful Roundtable in 2014, Drive Electric will work collaboratively with executives from automotive and electricity industries and their government counterparts to create a roadmap with shared goals to the Government Stimulus Package. This roadmap will provide initiatives and clear steps to get us there.
Where we came from and what we’ve done
In support of the Government’s goal of increasing the number of EVs 64,000 by 2021, Drive Electric has amended our membership categories to encourage more industry participation, and allocated more resources to marketing and events.
Since incorporation 2011 – as the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV), Drive Electric Has:
- Received seed funding for establishment from efu Investments – the Fukutake family.
- Hosted a 2014 Ministerial Roundtable with wide-industry participation.
- Rebranded from APEV to Drive Electric and developed a new strategic plan.
- Created EVolocity Limited, an educational project to drive kiwi innovation for electric vehicles via tertiary sector.
- Hosted a PlugIn Fleet Day in 2014, attracting plenty of corporate interest.
- Assissted in the preparation of a ‘Renewable Highway’ scoping study for members, Mighty River Power, Contact Energy and ENA Lines companies.
- Sold EVolocity to former Drive Electric Executive Director and passionate EV enthusiast, Rob Mcewen.
- Developed working relationships with government agencies and industry groups
- Successfully contributed to the Government’s stimulus package, resulting in the announcement of multiple EV incentives.
Industry is well represented on the board
Mark Gilbert retired as Managing Directorof BMW Group New Zealand in 2012. He has nearly 30 years automotive industry experience, working in both New Zealand and Asia for international companies Volvo, and the BMW Group. Mark has also been an Executive Member, NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development (now the Sustainable Business Council), and President, NZ Motor Industry Association Inc. Mark is presently an Independent Director of Auckland Transport and Partmaster Limited.
Duncan joined the Board of Drive Electric in 2012. Duncan is an environmental specialist and entrepreneurial investor with a passion for growth businesses and innovative technology. He holds a growing portfolio of cleantech companies under investment advisory business Greenhouse Capital, is a Director of software company CS-VUE and a Director of Social & Media Limited.
Annette joined the Drive Electric Board in December of 2014. Annette is a director at Staples Rodway, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. She specialises in international business and deals with a number of listed and unlisted corporates and high net worth individuals assisting with all aspects of taxation, compliance, M&A and immigration.
Hideaki is a Founding Director of Drive Electric Incorporated.
Hideaki Fukutake is CEO of efu Investment Limited and assumes Director roles of Berlitz International, Benesse Holdings Inc. Furthermore, Hideaki is Vice-Chairman of Fukutake Foundation which operates Art-site Naoshima and holds world-renown Setouchi International Art festivals.
Gary has over 20 years experience in the finance sector with the last 8 years working for Westpac Institutional Bank as Director of Asset Finance.
Gary sits on Westpac’s Environmental Solutions Working Group which is tasked with growing Westpac’s lending into the CleanTech sector. Since Gary’s involvement in this group he has developed Westpac’s Energy Efficient Lease product for Westpac’s institutional customer base which helps offset the cost of investing in energy efficiency assets with immediate energy saving benefits.
Gary first became interested in electric vehicles when introduced to Drive Electric through Westpac’s sustainability team early in 2015. Since then what was initially an interest has developed into a passion and in February 2016 Gary joined the board of Drive Electric. Gary’s appointment not only adds financial expertise in the area of leasing but also provides the opportunity to leverage Westpac’s relationships with large institutions to promote increased EV uptake in fleets.
It is clear to Gary that corporate New Zealand plays a crucial part in stimulating the growth of EVs in New Zealand. Gary represents Drive Electric on the Sustainable Business Network EV Steering Group and Auckland Transport’s ‘Auckland Electric Vehicle Working Group’. Both groups have been established to help drive EV uptake which Drive Electric is fully supporting.
Geoff is the Managing Director of sgfleet New Zealand, which specialises in corporate and government vehicle and asset management. Geoff has been in the Fleet Management and Leasing industry both in New Zealand and Australia for just under 30 years. He first moving to New Zealand in 1996 to start Custom Fleet New Zealand under the parentage of the Bank of New Zealand.
After 21 years at Custom Fleet Geoff joined sgfleet in 2011 in his current role and joined the board of Drive Electric in July 2016.
A mechanic by trade, Geoff has spent his entire career in the Motor industry starting in 1975 with an apprenticeship with Chrysler Australia.
European Motor Distributors
Dean Sheed is General Manager of Audi New Zealand and has a commitment to bring more of Audi’s global breakthrough technologies and innovations to New Zealand. The brand has a strong commitment to electric mobility through its “e-tron” sub brand covering a range of standard and performance vehicles.
Prior to joining Audi, Dean enjoyed a thirteen-year tenure as the General Manager of Volkswagen New Zealand. Under his leadership, the Volkswagen New Zealand brand presence grew tenfold in vehicle sales and won several awards for excellence in vehicle sales, technology and design. He also developed a strong network of new dealerships and service centres nationwide.
Dean began his automotive career at Ford Motor Company in New Zealand and spent 12 years with the organisation working on different aspects of the motoring business spanning sales, marketing and brand management, additionally he serves on the board of the New Zealand German Business Association.
Dean holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in Economics and Marketing from the University of Canterbury. He continued his post graduate studies in Finance from Massey University. His personal interests include snow skiing, following soccer and motorsports.
ABB New Zealand
Ewan Morris was appointed Managing Director of ABB in New Zealand, effective March 1, 2014. Ewan joined ABB in 1988 as an electrical engineer and has had a long and extensive career in the company across five countries including New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Malaysia and Switzerland.
Prior to moving back to NZ in 2014, he was based in Zurich, Switzerland for 15 years where he held global marketing and sales management roles for several businesses including Industrial Drives and Power Conversion, involving new technologies in the Sustainable Transportation and Renewable Power Generation segments.
Ewan has more than 25 years of professional experience in international industrial sales, marketing, product and service management, gained from working with diverse customer groups and industries around the world. He has been instrumental in building strong market positions worldwide across a number of businesses.
Ewan believes innovation and technology have a significant role to play in helping the world to reduce the correlation between economic growth and energy use – through energy efficient technologies, and to reduce the correlation between energy use and emissions – through emission free transportation and renewable based power generation.
Charge Net NZ
Co-founder, owner, and director of Serato, Steve West is passionate about promoting New Zealand business success, sustainability, and energy independence. His current focus is on accelerating the transition away from fossil fuel based transportation. Putting his money where his mouth is, he founded Charge Net NZ to build the largest Fast DC Charging network in the southern hemisphere.
Eric is the Commercial Manager at Powerco, New Zealand’s second largest electricity utility. He leads the customer and commercial side of the electricity business and is focused on lifting the engagement with consumers and integration of new energy technologies into the grid. Eric is also accountable for Powerco’s Electric Vehicle programme which is implementing a charging infrastructure along their network footprint and partnering with industry innovators to investigate fleet and residential charging models which can help optimise the use of the network for charging and help accelerate the adoption of EVs in New Zealand.
Eric has been with Powerco (and in New Zealand) for over 5 years and held a few other roles in business analysis, continuous improvement and change management. Prior to joining Powerco, Eric worked as a management consultant across a number of sectors including; Healthcare, Insurance, Property and State Tax, Technology, and Manufacturing, and has over 15 years of experience in business transformation and strategic planning. Eric Pellicer joined Drive Electric in 2016.
Neal has been appointed CE Designate of Meridian Energy where he will take up this position in January 2018.
Neal has held a number of Executive Leadership roles with Meridian Energy since he joined the Company in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer. Currently, Neal is General Manager for Meridian’s Retail Business and as such is responsible for leading the marketing, sales, service and operational support functions tasked with delivering an exceptional customer experience to Meridian’s Retail customers.
Before taking on the Retail role, Neal was General Manager Markets and Production, responsible for Meridian’s hydro and wind electricity generation assets and Wholesale business.
Aligned with this role Neal participated as a member of the Electricity Authority’s (EA) Wholesale Advisory Group (“WAG”) from 2010 to 2016 and currently sits on the Board of the Electricity Retailers’ Association of New Zealand (ERANZ) and the Drive Electric Board.
Prior to joining Meridian in 2008 Neal held a number of Senior Finance and Leadership roles in a 13 year career with Telecom NZ Ltd.