25th September 2023
After 11 years as Chair, Mark Gilbert steps down from the Drive Electric Board.
The board of Drive Electric, a not-for-profit with a mission to accelerate the uptake of e-mobility in New Zealand, has today announced that Chairman Mark Gilbert will retire from the organisation effective 31 December 2023.
Mr Gilbert has been Chair of the Board for 11 years. In this time the number of electric vehicles has increased from double digits to about 90,000.
Deputy Chair Kirsten Corson says, on behalf of the Board, “Mark has been a pioneer in New Zealand’s transport landscape, advancing the uptake of electric vehicles. Over many years, Mark has pushed the opportunity that would be presented by electrification. In the last few years, we have seen that vision become reality.
“Drive Electric’s recently released State of the Nation report demonstrates how e-mobility in many forms has taken hold, and is set to become the dominant motive force over the coming decade.
“Mark has done so much for the industry and on behalf of the board we wish to thank him for his 11 years of leadership and service.”
Mark Gilbert says, “I was preparing my remarks for Drive Electric’s 11th AGM in September, when I made the decision to step away. Eleven years is a long time at the helm of any organisation, but what struck me was how far we’d come.
“When we started Drive Electric I think there were perhaps 15 EVs in New Zealand, before the end of this year we could be at 100,000. We could be knocking on the door of a million around the turn of decade. The release of our State of the Nation report has shown the progress, but also the opportunity that awaits.
“What’s always excited me is the prospect of an energy independent New Zealand, where we control our future and power vehicles based on New Zealand’s renewable electricity. That future is now within our reach.
“This future has so much economic benefit to households and the economy. The State of the Nation report shows that by 2035, a household with two EVs will have 51% lower household energy bills.
“When we started we focussed on thought leadership, and looked to Norway in particular for inspiration. In more recent years, as politicians and policymakers started to see the potential in electrification, we’ve become a trusted partner providing independent insight and advice.
“I want to thank board members past and present for their contributions. The e-mobility movement in New Zealand would not be where it is today without your commitment to the cause. Many of you have contributed many many hours to pave the way for the uptake we are seeing today. Thank you.
“In particular, there are some longtime present and past board members that I want to acknowledge in particular being, Duncan Stewart, Annette Azuma, Matthew Bailey, Eric Pellicer and Dean Sheed, and our advisors Hannah Henderson and James Walker.
“I’ve worked with many fantastic people in this role and I want to acknowledge them all. Special thanks to the Fukutake Family for investing in this concept and staying with us through thick and thin. We would not be here today without them.
“The organisation is in good shape, particularly with Kirsten Corson as our Deputy Chair.”
Drive Electric will soon be recruiting some new directors from the membership and will make a new Chair appointment before the end of the year.
Mark Gilbert, automotive sector, short CV
- General Manager Volvo Cars NZ – Moller Volcorp Ltd, 1985–1987
- Sales and Marketing Director, BMW, 1988–1999
- Managing Director BMW Philippines, 1999–2004
- Managing Director BMW New Zealand, 2004–2012
- President MIA, 2011–2012
- Independent Director, Dekra NZ (Vehicle Testing New Zealand), 2017–2021
- Chairman, Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council, 2013–2021
- Member, EV Programme Leadership Group (MOT), 2016–2020
- Chairman, Clean Car Sector Leadership Group (Minister of Transport), 2021–2023
- Auto Stewardship Trust, Product Stewardship Organisation for end of life tyres and EV large batteries, 2013–Current