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Electric Car Industry Start-Up For NZ?

Electric Car Industry Start-Up For NZ?

New Zealand electric car industry funding talks underway in UK

New Zealand could soon be building its own electric cars.

Talks are underway in the UK now to set up a manufacturing consortium, New Zealand’s daily carbon market news service, Carbon News, reveals this morning.

Carbon News says entrepreneur and engineer Ian Macrae, the man who has funded Waikato University’s NZ Eco Ultra-Commuter electric vehicle project, is meeting a UK car maker with a view to establishing a UK/Australia/New Zealand consortium.

The consortium would produce an electric car and electric car technology in New Zealand, says Mike Duke, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at the university.

“It’s looking promising,” says Duke, who stresses that the idea is being developed outside government.

Duke says that government support would be helpful as the project has had no government funding to date.

“The only person who’s putting his money where his mouth is, is Ian.”

New Zealand’s sole reliance on technologies that are being developed by big automotive manufacturers is a mistake, says Duke.

“That’s going to dictate policy. If they could get behind Ian then we could accelerate the process for producing electric cars.”

Duke also points to research being undertaken by his university colleagues that would benefit New Zealand’s electric vehicle ambitions.

“There’s a lot of good work going on here that could complement electric car development so that New Zealand is dealing with it from a production as well as a use point of view.”

Macrae is also a member of the Ministry of Transport-funded Vehicle Energy and Renewables Group (VERG), the advisory group set up to help New Zealand achieve its electric vehicles targets as laid out in last year’s New Zealand Energy Strategy.

In that strategy the Government stated that 60 per cent of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet would be electric by 2050.


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