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New Business to remove cost barrier for electric vehicles

Start-up Business to remove cost barrier for electric vehicles

For immediate release: Monday 19 March 2018

A business start-up in Rotorua wants to make second hand electric vehicles more affordable to encourage the use of sustainable transport in New Zealand.

Founder Jason Diprose from Energy One Limited says he is launching his business as the continued use of fossil fuels poses serious long-term risks to our health and the environment.

“The goal is to make affordable, sustainable transport as much a part of Kiwi life as a run-down beach bach, summer barbeque's, L&P, or pineapple lumps.”

“We are an ideal nation to covert to electric vehicles. Our high renewable energy levels mean that the emission reduction benefits are greater than in most other countries. We have low commute distances with the average urban drivers only travelling 22 kilometres a day. On top of that the clear majority of homes have off-street parking for ease of battery charging.”

But he recognises that for most families and students, the initial cost outlay is a huge barrier to buying an electric vehicle.

“The majority of first car purchases and even family vehicle purchases are second hand cars. But there is a real barrier for people to buy second hand electric vehicles. They are more expensive. And half of the cost of an electric vehicle is the battery.”

To remove this cost issue, Energy One partners with electric vehicle dealerships around the country to enable people to lease the electric battery.

“This brings electric vehicles into a lower price bracket that is within reach of a far wider customer base. In turn, more low-income families and students will be able to enjoy the benefits offered by electric vehicles. The lease payments will be equal to or less than that of purchasing petrol on a weekly basis.”

Electric vehicles are starting to gain momentum in New Zealand, with 130 percent increase in numbers of registrations in the last year.

The advantages of electric vehicles are centred around cost and the environment. Charging an electric vehicle is the cost equivalent to paying 30 cents per litre. A significant saving on around the $2 we are paying at the pump.

The cost savings don’t stop there as the electric vehicles need less maintenance and repairs.

The benefits to the environment include pollution free driving, an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions and better energy efficiency with 90% of energy from their batteries used to move the car (versus 30% from petrol or diesel vehicles).

“Energy One is still in start-up mode. We have two car dealership agreements in place and very close to finalising a third.”

To progress and develop his business idea Diprose completed the Activate course with central North Island business growth centre Firestation. It’s a 12-week business training programme to help develop the concept and launch a new product, service or organisation. The programme is subsidised by the local council to help launch, grow and scale successful businesses.

“Each week I met with a professional business coach and facilitator in group sessions to go through the necessary steps to launch. This included idea development, lean business canvas, market validation, business planning, marketing and growth mindset.”

“I also had two one-on-one business coaching sessions.”

“The programme really helped get me into the mindset of building an enterprise, and the near instant community feeling of the whole programme. It has been a huge motivator for me, and a massive boost to my enterprise.”

“With being subsidised by the Council it meant that is was really affordable and definitely great value for money.”

“One of my favourite things about Activate was the way we could learn and discuss business concepts in a relaxed environment, with other people who are equally committed to growing their organisations and furthering their chosen causes.”

“Through Activate it made me realise what I need to do to move my idea into a viable business. My attention is now focussed on getting more dealerships on board and seeking capital investment.”

“I would definitely recommend this programme. The positive environment, amazing people plus advice and feedback is a great boost to your productivity,” says Diprose.

Firestation is seeking applicants for their next cohorts of subsidised training. There are three different programmes suitable for all businesses, from start-ups to $10million in turnover. For more information go to


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