Drive Electric chairman Mark Gilbert is passionate about electric vehicles (EVs).

He leads the not-for-profit group, which advocates for the uptake of EVs.

“As a country, we’ve really got to embrace electric vehicles and talk about them in the same breath as petrol and diesel ones,” Gilbert says.

Drive Electric has many functions, from lobbying the government to continue setting ambitious targets for electric vehicle uptake, to helping educate the public and companies about the benefits of EVs.

In his personal life, Gilbert practices what he preaches, zipping around central Auckland in a BMW i3.

“Driving an EV has many benefits,” Gilbert says.

“They are quick off the mark, quiet and environmentally friendly.”

New Zealand is the perfect place to introduce electric vehicles, Gilbert says.

“We have 85% renewable energy in New Zealand. There’s a lot of potential in that.

“The flow on effects from EVs are cleaner air and less pollution and it helps New Zealand achieve its obligations under the COP21 agreement.”

The government’s aim is to get 64,000 EVs on New Zealand roads by 2021.

Gilbert also has other interests in the electric vehicle sector, including leading the board of Chargemaster, which distributes products for home and office charging.

To find out more about Drive Electric, visit driveelectric.org.nz

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