For Immediate Release
Enthusiastic Crowd of Engineers Gather to Discuss the Electric Vehicle Revolution
A rare opportunity to take a spin in an electric supercar filled up the social rooms at Northpower head office in
Whangarei on Thursday evening.
Many people got to take a blat in Steve West’s deep red Tesla Roadster performance vehicle. The red rocket goes 0-100 in
3.9 seconds. All of the participants lucky enough to take a ride came back grinning from ear to ear after their
Around 50 engineers from IPENZ (www.ipenz.org.nz) gathered from 4:30 on Thursday evening to discuss Electric Vehicle
(EV) technology and the implications of rapid growth in the uptake of EV on New Zealand’s energy grid.
“New Zealand is the perfect place to roll out a massive uptake of personal use electric vehicles.” said Mark Yates,
managing director of JuicePoint ltd. “The fact is, most people would charge overnight, when the network experiences the
Presentations were given to a lively and engaged crowd by; Sujay Orpe from Northpower, Mark Yates from JuicePoint, Steve
West who is an EV owner and passionate sustainable energy advocate, and Adam Benli from Auckland Council.
There was a torrent of excellent questions posed to the panel from the attentive audience. Discussions were had on
everything from foreign oil, high entry level pricing to purchase and EV, potential strain on the power network and even
the positive impacts on tourism and New Zealand’s “clean green” image when the country embraces the Electric Vehicle
The infrastructure is already available to cope with a huge increase in EVs. Electric Vehicle use in other countries
shows that most users charge at their private homes overnight when the network is currently its most dormant. This will
increase energy use to run the fleet of electric vehicles, generating more jobs and revenue for New Zealanders
throughout the energy sector. Up to 75% of electricity produced in New Zealand is generated through renewable and
sustainable means such as wind, hydro, and geothermal.
Each of the panel members was asked why they were so passionate about electric vehicles. Steve West answered with a
sentiment that echoed the feelings of the rest of the panelists when he said:
“I challenge anyone to go for a ride in an electric vehicle, any EV, not even necessarily a performance sports model. I
can pretty safely guarantee you, they will be just as passionate as we are.”