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Is An Electric Car Coming To Your Driveway?

Press Release: Is An Electric Car Coming To Your Driveway? – Sustainable Energy Forum

Can electric vehicles, and electric transport in general, solve the problems of New Zealand's transport system? Are they the answer to worries about a world running out of oil and choking in the by-products of using fossil fuels? Is an electric car coming to your driveway?

These issues and more will be discussed at the Sustainable Energy Forum (SEF) seminar "Electric Vehicles and Electric Transport in New Zealand: 2010 and Beyond". The seminar will be held in the Large Gallery, Turnbull House, 11 Bowen St, Wellington, from 12.30-2pm on Friday 6 November.

SEF Convenor Tim Jones said "Electric buses and electric trains are beginning to make significant inroads in public transport, but electric cars still aren't commercially available in significant quantities in New Zealand. The questions are: why not, when will they be available, and is a changeover to electric vehicles necessarily a good thing?"

"I'm going to kick off the seminar with an overview of electric transport at all levels, from electric-assisted bikes right up to electric trains, " Tim Jones continued. "Then researcher Doug Clover will take a close look at recent developments in electric vehicle technology, in particular battery technology."

"Meridian Energy have been trialling the Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car here. Hayden Scott-Dye of Meridian will present an overview and some of the key results of the Mitsubishi iMiEV evaluation, and give his view of the benefits and key challenges of adopting electric vehicles in New Zealand."

"One of the claimed benefits for the adoption of electric vehicles is that this will reduce transport greenhouse gas emissions — but the electricity to power electric vehicles has to be generated somehow. Energy analyst Steve Goldthorpe will look at how to assess what effect a significant uptake of electric vehicles would have on New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions."

"It's clear that electric vehicles are on their way — but it remains to be seen whether they represent a fundamental shift in how we move people or goods around, or a distraction from the bigger issues of transport emissions, oil depletion, congestion, and creating an effective public transport system. This seminar might not provide all the answers, but it's a great opportunity to debate the issues," Tim Jones concluded.


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