Electric vehicle event


Reporter Simon Henderson was on the ground to see sparks fly as electric vehicle enthusiasts gathered at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell on Sunday for “The Hare and the Turtle”, an event jointly organised by Flip the Fleet and the Otago EV Society.

There they took part in tests on battery performance and tyre pressure, held discussions on electric vehicles and electric bikes, and watched a drag race between a Tesla Model X and a Ferrari 488 supercar.

A strong performance by the Tesla delighted crowds, as it took off at the starting line, leaving the Ferrari to catch up.

A race between an electric and petrol go-kart also had the audiences excited as the electric go-kart raced ahead of its petrol rival.

Co-founder of Flip the Fleet Henrik Moller said as well as having some fun, 35 EV owners also did some serious science.

“The semi-controlled and safe conditions of the racetrack allowed us to test the effect of tyre pressure on range.

“They also measured internal resistance of the batteries because it affects how hot the battery gets during charging and how much energy the battery can recover as the EV slows for the lights or rolls down a hill.”

Electric dreams . . . A forklift motor powers an electric car created by Duncan Cairncross, of Gore. At drag races he had been able to reach 135kmh. “It is fairly short-range, but quite high-performance.” PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON


Room for the dogs . . . Dave Hawkins, of Luggate, owned an electric BMW i3, but it was not as practical as his Nissan Leaf (pictured). “I couldn’t get my dogs in it,” he said.
Smart drive . . . Melanie and Ralph Daignault, of Lumsden, say their Tesla Model S automatically learns more about the road each time they drive, using sensors placed all around the vehicle. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON


Sun-powered . . . Solar panels in her home enable Norma Anderson, of Invercargill, to charge up her 2016 blue Nissan Leaf.
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