Hype (Tesla) and fear-mongering (climate-change) haven’t really done much to push more electric vehicles (EV) onto our roads, but the technology has achieved enough adoption for some forms to stay and even flourish- like electric bicycles.
In the last couple of years attending large scale NZMCA rallies, the number of e-bikes has grown to a point where the question has become, who doesn’t have one?
And now we have the electric campervan.
Britz Campervans has launched the Britz eVolve, a fully electric campervan that has all your standard convenience features like cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities and then some like an in-vehicle tablet that offers GPS, Camperhelp (gives you helpful vehicle info such as tyre pressure, fault warnings etc) and the ubiquitous Campermate app that shows you relevant points of interest such as campgrounds and the all important EV charge points.
But these aside, it’s the features that differentiate it from fossil-fuel powered campervans in the first place that is the challenge to sell; is the 120km range enough? How important is off-setting your carbon footprint? Do you even know your carbon footprint? ( an online emissions calculator shows a normal sized campervan having a carbon dioxide equivalent of 558kg compared to just 33kg for an electric counterpart on the Auckland to Queenstown route).
And more bluntly: Do you even care or understand carbon footprints and the whole initiative of offsetting it?
On display at the NZMCA AGM in Gisborne and a few metres away from the restored Bus No.1 the REO, the irony of the National Rally’s theme of Back To The Future couldn’t have been more starkly expressed. With a fuel range of just 5kms, the REO with all of its gloriously restored 30s vintage accoutrements should rightly belong in the past as a museum piece except that it’s pretty much still in the present.
The body may change but the power at its heart- fossil fuel- still drives all its successors. And this is the fascination that takes hold of someone perusing the REO- in their minds, it still can be driven, it still has a few journeys left in it. It’s possible yes, but should it be? Or should we just put it on a place it deserves, that special spot reserved for those who have done the hard kilometres. Time for rest, the journey has finally ended because the truth is that this is life- there is a past and there is a future.
And whether you believe the hype or not (my little niece wants to drive a Tesla when she grows up), or give in to the fear-mongering (a substantial part of it is factually true), the future is here and we all need to face it.
Whether it’s going to be electric or not, the onus is on you to try out and decide.
(The eVolve camper is available for travel for Auckland to Auckland hires from 17th December, 2018, and for travel Queenstown to Queenstown from 7th January 2019; for more information, visit https://www.britzev.com)