Waitaki Herald : November 26th 2014
30 WAITAKI HERALD, NOVEMBER 26, 2014 FROM Page 29 MOTORING A look inside . . . Custom built: The retro caravan was purpose built for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Welcome in: A fridge allows milk for a cuppa. Double bed: The couches fold out to a double bed. Cute clock: A second double bed, provides another spot to have chat about breast cancer. Information station: The purpose-built caravan stocks all the brochures. Orion wants electric cars recharged at night Electricity network company Orion New Zealand is considering installing devices that will control when the batteries in electric vehicles will be charged. ‘‘We’re aiming to have as many electric vehicles as possible charging at night while most people are asleep . . . and power costs are lower,’’ Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson said. Already-available smart vehicle chargers allow an owner to plug in their car at any time, but delay charging until night. ‘‘We’re also looking at more sophisticated technology that would, with the car owner’s permission, allow Orion to manage the vehicle charger, much like the way we currently manage most people’s hot water cylinders,’’ he said. This is called ripple control or load management. The company is also considering charging electric vehicles at night and then discharging the batteries back into the network during the day when prices are generally higher. Customers could be paid the difference, while Orion would benefit from the reduction in daytime power load. The future: Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson with his company’s electric car. Orion sees the market for elec- tric cars ‘‘slowly increasing’’ in New Zealand and can’t say when they will start affecting electricity demand. It estimates there are about 400 electric vehicles operating in New Zealand and about 40 in Canterbury. The average New Zealand driver spends about $2500 on fuel every year. With night-time charging of electric vehicles, the annual cost to refuel falls to about $500, the company estimated. Maintenance costs may also be lower because there are fewer moving parts and less wear in electric vehicles compared with petrol or diesel vehicles. Orion predicts that ‘‘plug-in electric hybrid’’ vehicles will ‘‘achieve widespread application in New Zealand’’. They feature an electric engine that powers the vehicle until the battery is flat. After that, the conventional pet- rol engine takes over. Orion is the principal sponsor of Photo: SUPPLIED next Sunday’s Evolocity electric vehicle event at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna. It features electric vehicle races, a drag race between an electric Tesla and a petrol Ferrari, and the world’s fastest electric drag motor bike, which gets to 100kmh in 1 second. See evolocity.co.nz.
November 19th 2014
December 3rd 2014