Experience helps Drive Electric promote EVs

Electric vehicle champions Drive Electric has expanded its board to help promote the uptake of the technology.

The not-for-profit organisation which is open to new members has increased the size of its board from eight to 12, increasing the expertise it has access to in the process.

“You can’t have one person that is an independent expert across all sectors. It is impossible,” Drive Electric chairman Mark Gilbert says.

“Now we can contribute to the sector from the new and used car, banking and finance, power and charging infrastructure perspectives.”

New board members include Westpac head of asset finance Gary Nalder; ABB’s MD Ewan Morris; Powerco commercial manager Eric Pellicer; sgFleet’s MD Geoff Tipene; EMD’s AUDI GM Dean Sheed; ChargeNet CE Steve West; ARUP Country Manager Mark Lusis and Meridian’s head of customer Neal Barclay.

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.

“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.

“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.”

Having more than 3000 EVs registered in New Zealand and a government goal of 64,000 of the vehicles on the road by 2021 is a great start to the country’s EV journey, Gilbert says.

However, there is still plenty more to do, including a closer look at issues like charging infrastructure.

This will take the form of a white paper produced by Drive Electric, which will be launched on May 3 in Auckland.

“We did some research with our members and asked them what they wanted from Drive Electric.

“The feedback was quite strong in terms of wanting to see what we could produce on issues like charging infrastructure, grid challenges and connected, autonomous motor vehicles.

“It really resonated with our members.”

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