Electric Cars to Hit Town – Element Magazine

With some things, New Zealand is surely among the most backward-thinking developed countries out there. Usually, when it’s about cars, there is not much to laugh about here for those who dare try resist. Highways run right through inner cities, leaving pedestrians and cyclists wonder how to keep a good mood in the midst of noise and smell. The way we commute and travel over here has become a serious issue – one that once in a while receives a bit of the media attention it deserves. So, which are the options? Electric cars are an obvious next step on the long journey from status quo (let’s call it worst case) to sustainable travel, NZ Herald’s Element magazine writes. “The idea of quiet city streets full of clean-energy cars seems almost to good to be true. For sprawling cities like Auckland with a deeply embedded car culture, electric vehicles do seem a logical next step. It’s driving, but without the downsides of dizzily escalating petrol prices, exhaust fumes and the roar of the motorway. “

Picture credit: Daniel Ngu – showing motorway running through downtown Auckland, New Zealand

10 thoughts on “Electric Cars to Hit Town – Element Magazine

  1. Someone is trialling electric car hire here in Sydney but I don’t know how it is going. The idea is like bicycle hire – to hire a fully charged car from the charging station and return it to the station when you are finished with it. I don’t like the idea of a recharge strip in the road -an electrocution accident waiting to happen for pedestrians crossing the road) and it seems unnecessary: the Tesla cars are recharged by the braking system but again I haven’t seen comment from anyone who has actually experienced the range of the Tesla cars. How far do you want to drive between recharges? I imagine parking stations are an ideal place to plug in the car for charge top up while you work or shop and may be an extra service they can offer.

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  2. You are on the right track there, Sue. Some of the rising stars in the corporate world (for example those making in renewable energies in Germany) have already incorporated this by feeding their corporate fleet (of electric cars) with solar energy coming from the roof of their parking stations. It shouldn’t take much imagination to install the same system on supermarket roofs, parking spots, and – indeed – on the home garage. Electric cars might be expensive now, but they’ll be very competitive once the infrastructure has changed.

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    • Thanks for commenting, Sam. I also think this goes into the right direction. Every step towards fostering renewable and independent energy sources helps. Not least because it will make resource (oil) wars a bit less likely in the future.

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  3. One of the reasons I love electric cars because the car does not use fuel so it does not cause pollution in the street. I think an electric car same with a bicycle. I imagine if all the vehicles that exist in this world like an electric car would not have happened to global warming.
    Well, that become barriers to buying an electric car is a pretty big cost. Not everyone can afford the car. I think the money we spent for the car is comparable with the technology.

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    • Thanks for the comment Boris. You are right, transport emissions are significant for global warming, but only a (smaller) part of the picture. Electric cars by themselves aren’t the solution either but need to be integrated into an intelligent system where car parts can be recycled, for instance, and electricity comes from solar or wind or tidal installations. The good news is that step by step we’ll be getting there. Make sure to check back as I’ll make sure to post on new developments :)

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  4. Great article. My ideal future scenario would be to use roof spaces (supermarkets, shops, homes) for solar panels. That way, car batteries can be recharged when at work, shopping or at home. Businesses and institutions used to long-term thinking should make the start: councils, universities, taxis – you name it. There is huge potential for New Zealand to become energy self-sufficient and to take advantage of its green image – instead of destroying it.

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    • Absolutely agree, DUCNIAC. And I am sure that those organizations with a considerable car fleet and conscious about their image won’t take long in getting on board. Nevertheless, I’m wondering whether the national government shouldn’t incentivise the switch to electric vehicles and smart networks (i.e. linking car batteries to renewable energy production like solar and wind – or was it vice versa :))

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