[UPDATED on 25 April 2016]
‘Leading the Charge’ is New Zealand’s annual Cape Reinga-to-Bluff tour by zero-emission vehicles. This year, visiting US advocate and advisor on electric cars Chelsea Sexton joined the grand adventure.
Chelsea is best-known for her role in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006). In addition to being one of the key experts featured in that film, she was also a Consulting Producer on the follow-up movie Revenge of the Electric Car (2011).
While passing through Auckland she leapt at the opportunity to have her first ride on the brand new Segway miniPRO. Steve and Dee West from Charge Net – NZ’s electric vehicle fast charging network – had just purchased one of the first Segway miniPROs to arrive in New Zealand. Moments later Chelsea jumped on, and was soon gracefully swooning around the carpark. We’re not sure if Chelsea has gotten off and given it back to them yet!
Steve and Dee have taken the miniPRO with them on the Leading the Charge tour, which finishes up in Bluff today (follow progress at the Leading The Charge Facebook page). This last stop on the national tour was also an opportunity to open the world’s southern-most public EV charging station. As reported in the Otago Daily Times:
Invercargill’s first public electric vehicle (EV) charging station opened for business this week and is expected to be the first of many in the region.
The station, in Esk St, next to the Scottish Hall, has a DC rapid charge system which provides an 80% charge in 10 to 25 minutes.
It is a joint venture between the Invercargill-based electricity network management company PowerNet and charge.net.nz, which plans to install 150 user-pays stations throughout New Zealand.
Charge.net.nz managing director Steve West completed opening honours with Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie in front of about 50 invited guests and onlookers.
He said the station was not only the southernmost in New Zealand but in the world, and was the 18th the company had opened so far.
Steve says he’s been using his miniPRO get around when he reaches his destinations, and is loving it. Because the miniPRO’s KneeSteer unclips in a second, it is easy to place on the back seat or stow in the boot of a car – even if the car is full. Arrive near your destination, park wherever you like, lift it out (just 12kg), jump on and go!
Comfortable, easy and safe to ride, the Segway miniPRO is the ‘last mile’ solution many people have been waiting for.
LEADING THE CHARGE TOUR DATES
Auckland, MOTAT, April 9
Thames, April 10
Hamilton, Waikato University, April 11
Rotorua, April 12
Taupo, April 13
Palmerston North, April 13-14
Levin, Otaki, Southward Car Museum, April 14
Wellington, April 15-17
Christchurch, April 19
Timaru, Waimate and Oamaru, April 20
Dunedin and Invercargill, April 21
Bluff, April 22