EECA and the Christchurch City Council organised a breakfast in Christchurch on 14 September at which Drive Electric presented. Around 30 people attended from businesses in Christchurch. Participants included representatives from the hospitality, retail and electricity industries together with local government.
The idea was to give participants an understanding of the key issues around EVs and charging infrastructure. Drive Electric presented on the benefits of EV and on the global EV situation. EECA presented on some of the detailed aspects, such as charging infrastructure.
There was a lively question and answer session. Businesses were every interested in what charging system would work best for them. For a number of them basic charging systems were all that was needed, for example, airport parking or overnight parking at hotels.
Outside the venue were two EVs. A council-owned Nissan Leaf and a BMW i8 (not owned by the Christchurch City Council!). It was great to see that Christchurch City Council had an EV on its fleet. Both attracted considerable attention.
One question that was asked was: Would more people come to my hotel if I had EV charging? And this question was echoed by others – would more people come to my restaurant if I had EV charging? Would more people come to my shopping centre etc? The answer may well be yes, certainly in the future. Certainly hotels in the US that have Tesla chargers attract Tesla owners. It is early days yet in New Zealand but we believe that having an EV charger at your site will become a competitive advantage.