Great news for tidy Kiwis! Electric vehicle use in New Zealand has risen over the last few years, particularly by companies such as Air New Zealand and Vector Energy. Over a two week period this month, until the 20th March, electric vehicles are allowed to use 5 of the priority lanes normally reserved for buses on Auckland motorways. This trial, which did not appear to be very publicly advertised has been designed to assess whether electric vehicles should be allowed to use priority lanes. Should this be accepted, electric vehicle users may find themselves zooming past the rush hour traffic and scoring the best parking spaces.
Electric vehicles are great for the consumer, with exemptions from Road User Charges until the electric vehicle fleet makes up 2% of the total, far cheaper maintenance and running costs. Though improvements to driving range need to be made, for a low-cost run around, these vehicles are great choice.
In February this year, the first solar powered EV charge point opened in Tauranga. This neat charger is providing free power for the first year, with free parking for two hours. Great for EV using locals!
Moving away from the EV front, a new eco-friendly AC coolant will be making it’s way to New Zealand in the coming months. This new refrigerant has a ‘Global Warming Potential’ (GWP) of below 150, in accordance with a 2011 law from the EU. This is far below the current standard refrigerant with a GWP of over 1400!
This new coolant is expected to replace the standard coolant worldwide, with Honda, Subaru, Chrysler and GM as early adopters.
This is refreshing news amidst legal action taken against Audi by the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly using defeat devices in diesel vehicles to beat emission tests from 2011-2015. Mirroring the actions of parent company, Volkswagen and fellow subsidiary, Skoda.