One of the great parts of this job is experiencing the enthusiasm of EV owners around the country. The other day I was chatting with John Leenman. John is based in Thames and is one of several EV/PHEV owners in region. John tells me that Vector’s newly installed fast chargers are a game changer. John has had to overnight in Auckland, which John says is fine, but now he can return to Thames on the same day and has done so already.
John tells me he has been encouraging the Thames Coromandel District Council to include charging infrastructure in their planning for the Coromandel. As a result a new carpark in Thames will likely include a charge point donated by the local EV/sustainability group. The arrival in Thames of the Charge.Net.NZ fast charger this summer will open up the Coromandel to EV road trippers, especially since an increasing number of accommodation providers are also beginning to offer EV charging.
There was early reluctance that EVs would really take off. A common story in some other parts of the country. But I also note progress. I understand that the councils in Hawkes Bay are getting some EV, for example.
Like many EV owners John enjoys letting others take his Leaf for a spin and monthly EV test drive/information events are being planned to coincide with the Thames Saturday market. Data from Norway shows that word of mouth is one of the most successful ways that EV are taken up by people.
In the short time I have been in this role I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for EV. To John and all of you out there promoting EVs, chatting to your family, friends, neighbours, complete strangers etc, well done and keep up the good work!