Electric Cars

May 19th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

There are fewer than 200 electric vehicles currently in the country but a recent push could see it bolt to 70,000 by 2020, provided some key initiatives get a charge.

I’d bet a large amount of money that there won’t be anywhere near 70,000 by 2020.

There are around 400,000 electric cars in the world. That will grow in the next six years, but thinking that a country that is 0.1% of the world’s population may have say 10% of the world’s electric cars is nonsensical.

McEwen said there were currently fewer than 200 electric vehicles in the country, but global initiatives targeted an uptake of 2.4 per cent of a nation’s total stock by 2020.

In New Zealand that would translate to about 70,000 electric vehicles in just over five years.

“Are we going to get to 70,000, who knows?

I do. No.

He estimated an electric vehicle added about $500 to a household’s annual power bill.

This was roughly a fifth of the cost of fuelling a petrol car travelling the same distance over a year.

Which means when the price difference reduces to under $20,000 or so, then the fuel saving will be worth it.

Mitsubishi’s new Outlander PHEV (plug in hybrid electric vehicle), which cost $59,990, had seen demand surge already this year, he said. These were being sold at about a rate of 50 a month, but a used electric vehicle market was beginning to emerge as well.

Wait a second. If there are less than 200 electric vehicles in NZ, then how can there be 50 a month being sold?

Otherwise, improved infrastructure, such as “fast charge” stations which can “refuel” an electric vehicle to 80 per cent capacity in less than half an hour, needed to be rolled out across the country.

But who pays for these? There’s one in Wellington as the Z station, and my understanding is that staff can’t recall having ever seen an electric car using it!

As technology improves, and costs drop, I’m sure electric cars will become more popular. But this will not happen greatly in the next few years.

 

Tags:

67 Responses to “Electric Cars”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Wait a second. If there are less than 200 electric vehicles in NZ, then how can there be 50 a month being sold?

    Presumably the “200 electric vehicles” stat applies to purely electric vehicles, not hybrids. The Nissan Leaf, for example.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’ve seen electric cars recharging at that station. Not often, but it happens.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Great. Now we just need a big Coal powered station to charge the bloody things :)

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Manolo (13,838 comments) says:

    Just consider the life and toxicity of the batteries before buying one. Good luck.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. CJPhoto (222 comments) says:

    The Outlander is not an Electric, it is a Plug in hybrid electric, similar to the Prius which is a hybrid, but not a plug in hybrid) so not in the figures. I agree it is very unlikely we will see that many electric vehicles.

    If you include hybrids, then the numbers may be possible. Range isn’t an issue for these as they have an engine to charge the batteries and as they dont have to carry as many batteries to get a sufficent range, aren’t as costly. Lexus, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, BMW etc are all trialling different variations of Hybrid so the technology will trickle down.

    Ideally we would have a fleet of http://www.teslamotors.com/models cars but going by the following, there is currently only one in the country and going by the date, is the previous 2 seat sports car version: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/motor-vehicle-registration-statistics/docs/2013.pdf

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Electric cars are an expensive and inconvenient way to feel smug. I may take an interest when there is one that will go from Auckland to Wellington on a single charge (and takes 3 minutes to re-fuel), can do 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and doesn’t look downright ugly. Otherwise they will only appeal to greenies and self-absorbed celebrities.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Redbaiter (9,120 comments) says:

    “is the previous 2 seat sports car version”

    That would suit most urban liberals in NZ, who only have themselves, their “partner” and a pair of designer Shar-Peis to cart around.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Actually, electric cars are older than petrol or diesel ones. The war to supply/fuel the car revolution was not won by the electrics people, but by the single-eyed entrepreneur and master of capitalism and business, R D Rockefeller, who invested and built a massive network across America so he could sell his oil product. Otherwise, we would all be in electric cars.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. CJPhoto (222 comments) says:

    Rick Prick – they wont do AKL to WGT but the Tesla look good IMHO and can do 0-100 in 4.2s.

    The most driving I would do in one day is about 1 hour so would be good for 99% of my trips. The odd family trip to Tauranga or Taupo may be a stretch though.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    <blockquoteThere’s one in Wellington as the Z station, and my understanding is that staff can’t recall having ever seen an electric car using it!

    I saw a black Nissan Leaf being charged there as well the other day…

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Raphael (88 comments) says:

    @CJPhoto
    “Ideally we would have a fleet of http://www.teslamotors.com/models cars but going by the following, there is currently only one in the country and going by the date, is the previous 2 seat sports car version: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/motor-vehicle-registration-statistics/docs/2013.pdf

    If there is only one Tesla, then I happen to know the owner and can confirm that it is a 2 seat sports car version. (his wife is friends with mine and we attended their 10th Anniversary)

    I took a photo of it as it was the first I have seen in the wild
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33120147/tesla.jpg

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Slipster (177 comments) says:

    ” Range isn’t an issue for these as they have an engine to charge the batteries ”

    It is still in issue. Ever heard of the Law of Conservation of Energy? That’s basic physics, no amount of the Greenish propaganda can negate that.

    In this particular case, when petrol engine is used to recharge the batteries, it needs to use more fuel, hence drops in range per litre. Moreover, because there are at least two extra energy conversions involved (to and back from electric) it is GUARANTEED to be way, way less effective than the plain petrol engine. And that’s even before we factor in the extra weight of batteries, electric engine and so on which are also detrimental.

    No way it can ever win in efficiency, that’s pure impossibility.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    That would suit most urban liberals in NZ, who only have themselves, their “partner” and a pair of designer Shar-Peis to cart around.

    Bunch of books without pictures in the trunk, wearing shoes that wouldn’t last five seconds in the bush, driving home to cook food they didn’t hunt and dress themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. infused (656 comments) says:

    Never seen the Z one used. They now store stuff in that area.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. All_on_Red (1,584 comments) says:

    I like the new BMW i8. Looks gorgeous and is fast. The Tesla is a mess.
    Am interested to see how Hydrogen cars work out. There’s a few manufacturers with working models now.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. tas (625 comments) says:

    As soon as electric cars or renewable energy are mentioned, otherwise reasonable people begin spouting nonsense.

    There are a fair few electric charging stations in the US. I’m tempted to get an electric car just for the parking spots it opens up — they’re always available. And it seems many of the charging stations are free, which makes it doubly tempting.

    Definitely would need to be a hybrid though. I don’t trust batteries in anything but a toy car.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    As I said earlier, I’ve seen the charging station at Z used before. Can’t speak for now as it’s no longer on my route to work.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Raphael (88 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (6,534 comments) says:
    May 19th, 2014 at 4:23 pm
    “is the previous 2 seat sports car version”

    That would suit most urban liberals in NZ, who only have themselves, their “partner” and a pair of designer Shar-Peis to cart around.

    Actually he is married with 4 kids.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Actually he is married with 4 kids.

    He WAS married, Raphael, until CULTURAL MARXISTS DESTROYED MARRIAGE.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >But who pays for these? There’s one in Wellington as the Z station, and my understanding is that staff can’t recall having ever seen an electric car using it!

    Used to work across the road with a view of the charging station. Never saw a car charging, although it was frequently used as a temporary car park.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    @Slipster
    Do bother to do a bit of research before you spout forth.
    Hybrids like the Prius use ultra efficient Atkinson engines which are useless for a petrol only car as they operate in a very narrow rev to load range but are perfect for charging.

    There is another Greenie pinko propaganda machine around that uses the same principle. The Diesel / Electric trains. Commie bastards.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. big bruv (13,934 comments) says:

    Pure Electric cars have been a crashing failure in NZ. So much so that the manufacturer who so proudly boasted of having NZ’s first fully electric car has withdrawn the vehicle for sale from the NZ market.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. mandk (998 comments) says:

    These are the words that stood out for me: “provided some key initiatives get a charge”

    Are we talking about huge government subsidies?

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. CJPhoto (222 comments) says:

    Big Bruv – are you refering to the Mitsubishi car? It was small and not really suitable for NZ

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Many are conflating Hybrids and electric only, and not all hybrids require mains charging.
    Then there is a possibility they are getting stats on the range riders careening along footpaths on mob scoots within the target fleet, some of them are actively seeking ACC levies with their wild west attitudes.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Odakyu-sen (678 comments) says:

    I wonder which has the greater environmental impact? Conventionally fuelled or electric cars?

    One must take into account the mining used to obtain the materials used in the construction of the vehicles (and their batteries and magnets), as well as the environmental burden of their disposal.
    The battery is merely a store for energy in much the same way that petrol is. This energy still has to be generated at a power station somewhere.

    Never mind the emotive appeal; give me empirical facts.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    Odakyu-sen

    In the other universe, way over yonder somewhere, that the tree huggers inhabit everyone is so well organised that they charge their cars at night when theoretically we are spilling water out of our hydro electric dams. As such costs are probably based on off peak power at a few cents per unit rather than the 30 odd cents/KW/hr that the thieving bastards charge us locally.

    Mention the mining of rare earth elements to the average Green & the silence is deafening.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Arf an hour to refuel ? Good thing there aren’t too many of the fuckers about,imagine the queues!

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Jaffa (94 comments) says:

    Where do you dump the old batteries?
    How big are they?
    How much do new ones cost?

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Read how a conventional Merecedes Sedan uses less gas than an idiotic Prius preferred by smug white middle class pricks :)

    More failed green tech !

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/americas-most-fuel-efficient-new-car-is-not-a-toyota-prius

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Odakyu-sen (678 comments) says:

    My dear nasska,

    Don’t you dare bring up the subject of the sourcing (mostly in China) of rare-earth elements such as neodymium for which electrical generators have a voracious appetite.

    Now, who in the class today can tell me which Green-Party-approved form of energy needs lots and lots of dispersed generators to convert mechanical energy into electrical power…?

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Never mind the emotive appeal; give me empirical facts.

    Odakyu-sen has stumbled onto Kiwiblog thinking he is some place else. :lol:

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Scott1 (552 comments) says:

    “Are we going to get to 70,000, who knows?
    I do. No. ”

    Good call.
    I hate how media sometimes thinks that it is good writing to just ask a question and imply an answer, when it is ridiculously improbable.

    Like – “was 9/11 an inside job? who knows?”
    “have aliens abducted the entire government of the USA? who knows?”

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Phil (127 comments) says:

    I’m fairly bullish for the future of fully-electric vehicles. The market and manufacturing process are in their infancy, but the Tesla S looks like proof of concept that you can make an electric vehicle that looks great, and the reviews on its drive and handling have been quite positive, too. In short: less Mitsubishi iCar and Toyota Prius, more Tesla S and Mercedes SLS Electric.

    I’d wager now that, within my lifetime, we’re going to end up in a future where a significant portion of the domestic vehicle fleet is electric, charged primarily by energy sourced from domestic solar power and supported by on-board KERS and solar panel systems. Battery recharge speeds are currently an issue, but no one that is insurmountable.

    One must take into account the mining used to obtain the materials used in the construction of the vehicles (and their batteries and magnets), as well as the environmental burden of their disposal.
    Correct. You also have to take into account the reduction in mining and drilling no longer required to continually fuel the vehicle. I’d guess that the enviromental impact of production is pretty much the same, but the ongoing costs will be lower in the electric vehicle.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    ““is the previous 2 seat sports car version”

    That would suit most urban liberals in NZ, who only have themselves, their “partner” and a pair of designer Shar-Peis to cart around.”

    Feel free to cite your source of “facts” old man. Otherwise, feel free to consider yourself a fact free cock.

    One of my great mates is married, no kids, two small dogs, central Auckland apartment. Between them they earn $600K a year. And both would throw Ardern out if she showed up on their doorstep. Both ACT voters. But let me guess, doesnt fit your narrative?

    I saw the advert for the Mitsi Hybrid Wagon, and had a hmmm moment. Then gave myself an uppercut. Its electric. And a Mitsi.

    I will be replacing the A6 next year with an S8, and cant fucking wait. The Mrs has first dibs on the Q7 to replace her Captiva, later this year.

    My old man said V8’s would be gone by the turn of the century. Hes almost as good at predictions as that waste of space Hickey.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Phil (127 comments) says:

    Also, the Oatmeal is a fan of the Tesla… and he’s a pretty awesome dude.

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla_model_s

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Slipster (177 comments) says:

    @Lance:
    Dear Greenie, specifically for you, I have to repeat the part you need to understand before you spout on the subject again:

    “Ever heard of the Law of Conservation of Energy? That’s basic physics, no amount of the Greenish propaganda can negate that”.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Peter (1,713 comments) says:

    Batteries. Until they decrease significantly in cost, then electric cars are too expensive. If the batteries need replacing every ten years or so – and presumably they are decreasing in capacity each day, so likely become near useless before then – the cost per km of electric vehicles is very high.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. berend (1,711 comments) says:

    DPF: He estimated an electric vehicle added about $500 to a household’s annual power bill.

    Really? I can’t see that number working to be honest. That’s about 15kWh per 100km. What car is that?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Steve (North Shore) (4,565 comments) says:

    70000 by 2020? Bollocks. Back to school Hamish, you or someone got the decimal point in the wrong place.
    Maybe 700, but never 70000.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    DPF:
    There’s one [electric fast charge station] in Wellington as the Z station, and my understanding is that staff can’t recall having ever seen an electric car using it!

    As technology improves, and costs drop, I’m sure electric cars will become more popular. But this will not happen greatly in the next few years.

    I’ve seen a few of those new Mitsi Outlander plug-in hybrid SUVs around already.

    And there’s a young guy with a green Tesla Roadster in Wellington.

    I would not want to make any wild predictions for the future, but this technology is certainly starting to be taken up more and more…

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    Young males should be required to have an electric car until they have driven for 3 years.

    Massively expensive to buy, poor resale and you can’t lose traction in one (easily). Ha ha ha, ha ha ha.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    @Slipster
    Darn that Engineering Degree of mine must have been a waste of $12.50.

    Conservation and efficiency are two different things, like shit and clay, maybe you can’t tell the difference but some people can.

    Back to playschool.
    1. Atkinson Engine is very efficient, much more efficient than other petrol engines.
    2. But is cannot be used by normal cars.
    3. However it can be used in Hybrid cars.
    4. There is loss in conversion BUT efficiency of engine out ways that loss for a net gain.
    5. Hybrids recover dissipated stopping energy.

    Gee I think engineering principles should not be bastardised so I am a Greenie?

    You were talking shit, I pointed it out. There are many other aspects to this debate but your contribution was drivel.
    Real points are open road vs around town figures, overall cost vs petrol costs saved, total energy in construction etc, good debating points.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    If your concern is efficiency then this guy knows what he’s doing: http://wrightspeed.com . It’s more important to get efficiency than to worry about where it comes from.

    Disclosure: not related except we have the same parents. (to quote dpf)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Longknives (4,767 comments) says:

    I’m still waiting for my Hoverboard!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverboard

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. dog_eat_dog (782 comments) says:

    Duggeldog, considering the torque in an electric motor comes in at peak at zero rpm, losing traction in an electric car without adequate torque vectoring sounds easily possible.

    V8s are by and large on the way out, the future is through the hybrid V6 powertrains being used in Formula One this year, which will only accumulate more power over the next few years.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    ‘Black Current’ electric VW Beetle drag car: 9.5 second quarter mile, 0-60 mph 1.6 seconds…

    You would need a pretty serious internal combustion engine to keep up with that! :–

    http://www.cnet.com/au/news/black-current-electric-drag-beetle-smashes-veyrons-world-records/

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. greybeard (62 comments) says:

    I have read all the comments here, and although I may be of advanced years and diminished eyesight I cannot find any comments by anyone who actually owns one of these electric / hybrid vehicles.

    A bit like having definite views on how the All Blacks are playing when in fact you have never played rugby in your life.

    Anyone with any real experience of these things out there, in this vast list of Kiwiblog commentators ?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    A bit like having definite views on how the All Blacks are playing when in fact you have never played rugby in your life.

    More like a bunch of rugby players saying they wouldn’t pay to go watch the All Whites lose.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Greybeard – I had a ride from Kelburn to the interisland ferry terminal in a Prius taxi once.

    The descent down Bolton St put so much charge into the battery, that it ran solely on electric from then on, the petrol engine was not running at all, even when he accelerated from 50 up to 70 past the stadium. Pretty clever

    There is a lot of irrational hate around, but I think it’s becoming pretty clear these things are the future…

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. wreck1080 (3,924 comments) says:

    what happened to fuel cells?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. big bruv (13,934 comments) says:

    Some facts about electric and electric/hybrid cars.

    1. The battery life is about 10 years, current replacement cost for those batteries is approx. $12000. Now, do the math, at ten years of age the vehicle is not going to be worth much more than $12000 anyway, this makes the electric/hybrid vehicle technically worthless after then years.
    2. Toyota invested heavily in Tesla, given that Tesla is a failure it is reported that Toyota have decided to cease their investment in electric powered technology.
    3. Even those countries who have “rapid charge” facilities available do not make charging a fully electric car as easier as petrol or diesel. A fully electric car can only take so many “raid charges” before having to go back to a full eight to ten hours slow charge. A “rapid” charge still takes between 20-40 mins.

    The future is not electric cars, the future (and it will be years before we move totally away from Petrol/Diesel cars) is hydrogen powered vehicles, interestingly enough Toyota have now turned their investment/research facilities to hydrogen power. Hydrogen can be used in the same way as Petrol/Diesel, when you need a refill that refill takes no longer than it does with conventional fuels.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Odakyu-sen (678 comments) says:

    “Hydrogen can be used in the same way as Petrol/Diesel, when you need a refill that refill takes no longer than it does with conventional fuels.”

    Yes, but H2 is a real bitch to handle. You have to keep your hydrogen really cold (like −252.87°C and pressurized) this is going to render steel as brittle as glass, where as good ‘ol petrol can slosh around in yer tank at atmospheric pressure and room temperature.

    Oh and did I mention that H2 can leak out of just about anything (playful lil’ minx, ain’t she…)

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (562 comments) says:

    The day they makes Electric cars / Hybrids sound like the following is the day I’ll convert…….nah not really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    While the Tesla Model S won’t quite get between Wellington and Auckland on a charge, it will do it with a single recharge even at silly illegal speeds. A single fast charging station in Taupo would let you do the journey with just one 30 minute stop … which frankly most people want to do anyway.

    Tesla has also demonstrated a capability that wasn’t advertised at first. They have a fully automated machine that can swap one battery pack for a new, fully charged one, in 90 seconds.

    I wouldn’t pay $20,000 to change to a fully electric car. That’s 10 years of fuel savings. That’s too much. Make it five years ($10,000) and we’re talking.

    And that’s $10k more than I can sell my old Subaru for, not $10k more than a brand new petrol car. So $11k total.

    It’ll be a while before used ones with the battery pack in good shape get to that price.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Kimble (4,440 comments) says:

    Nah BB, electric is the future, and graphene will make it so.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    While we are awaiting electric vehicles, gas is still not a bad choice for big-mileage vehicles that stay within reasonable range of service stations with gas. I don’t think they pay anything towards road taxes.

    When the NZ dollar eventually falls to reflect half a century of current account deficits, petrol will soar, and locally sourced gas will become more popular.

    When conversions were subsidised during one of the oil-price crunches we soon had scores of thousands of gas vehicles.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. CJPhoto (222 comments) says:

    BigBruv – Tesla is worth $23B. Hardly a failure

    http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ%3ATSLA&ei=OMV5U5DxHuqeiQKyhoG4AQ

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. MT_Tinman (3,204 comments) says:

    Of course the major problem facing modern man is how to generate enough electricity to run normal household and business services.

    Electricity for cars is definitely the way of the future – and steamrollers do roll steam, chocolate fish do swim …………..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    No problems for mankind to generate electricity.Almost endless supply of coal.The problem is government interference and “modern man” who allows that interference.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. alloytoo (546 comments) says:

    I have to question the efficiency of Hybrid cars.

    Apart from the fact that a number of diesel vehicles beat hybrid fuel consumption under a variety of conditions, I also not that the battery packs of these vehicles add considerable weight to the vehicle, the equivalent of carrying a passenger every time you drive.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. Johnboy (16,665 comments) says:

    I’ve seen a few cuzzies over here in Wainui who’s cars would go faster if they dumped out the missus and loaded two battery packs alloytoo! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. rg (214 comments) says:

    These electric and hybrid cars are not paying their fair share of road charges, no petrol tax or RUC. They need to start charging them so that the true economics of can be known, and because at the moment they are bludging on us.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Say Goodbye to Hollywood
    They sound like a bunch of lawn mowers…

    This is a real engine sound
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVG2YVqCydg

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. Nigel (516 comments) says:

    Plug in hybrid is definitely the way to go check out Jay Leno and his Maclaren p1.

    Santa Monica already mandates hybrid taxis and is close to full electric just waiting on range to improve, the cabbies I’ve talked to there love them, way lower fuel bill and maintenance bills.

    NZ might not have to worry about pollution, but countries like china do and there is a reason they are leading battery tech ( though the new tesla battery factory might change things ).

    I have to say the Prius is surprisingly sprightly with 4 guys in it, though you want it to be out of the public eye :).

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Azeraph (605 comments) says:

    I’am more interested in superconductor materials that is being tested across the planets labs. It’s the eventual evolution of transport, once we are off the ground and have built the infrastructure for it then we will have far greater range of access than ever before in our history. Flying cars, a dream many believe will never happen. No one realizes it but there is a race going on to crack variable temp superconductor material. The first to crack it, cracks the oil market.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. Left Right and Centre (2,986 comments) says:

    4. There is loss in conversion BUT efficiency of engine out ways that loss for a net gain.

    We all mistakes. How on earth does a person claiming to have an engineering degree type ‘out ways’ when surely the correct word to use was ‘outweighs’ ? Mind-boggling.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote