EV vacations in New Zealand offer ‘different freedoms’, study finds

Electric vehicles are not inferior to gasoline cars, just different.

Brook Sabin / Stuff

Electric vehicles are not inferior to gasoline cars, just different.

Driving an electric vehicle on vacation changes the experience but is quite viable, according to a new study, as ownership of electric vehicles increases in New Zealand.

“Electric vehicles are often described as inadequate for long-distance vacation travel, yet a growing number of owners are traveling on vacation in their electric vehicles,” said Dr Helen Fitt and Niamh Espiner in a report titled Look beyond the limits.

The study, published in December, saw researchers at the University of Lincoln discussing the vacation with a small number of drivers.

While many participants pointed out the limitations of electric vehicles – poor range, difficulty finding chargers, and challenges of accessing the backcountry or towing a caravan or boat – they were generally positive about their vacation with an electric vehicle.

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“Despite all the limitations, most of the participants were very positive about their vehicles and their riding experiences,” the researchers found. “Most of the participants didn’t consider their electric vehicles inferior to gasoline-powered cars, just different.”

Electric cars seem to encourage slow travel, for example.

This included driving under 100 km / h to save battery. But it also meant less errands from destination to destination and more stops along the way to explore or picnic or visit an attraction while recharging the battery.

One driver was able to “see parts of the country that I would otherwise drive through in a direct car.”

SABIN STREAM

It wasn’t a glamorous New Zealand electric vacation; it was diarrhea at the side of the road, a floating road and an almost serious accident.

Fitt and Espiner compared it to slow food and slow fashion. “The Slow Motion advocates a slower pace of life for the benefit of better mindfulness, deeper experiences and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

Slow travel could have implications for the tourism and accommodation sectors, researchers from the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Society have suggested.

Internal combustion engines were associated with “freedom” and “spontaneity,” the couple noted. Electric vehicles have challenged these values, but also introduced different freedoms.

“Driving an electric vehicle can take more planning, but it can also help free yourself from environmental guilt, not having to go to gas stations, driving a smooth, quiet and fast car and spending more. for accommodation (because travel is cheap). “

EV vacations have also given many drivers a sense of adventure and avant-garde. “We are pushing the boundaries,” said one of them.

Others spoke of “doing something a little unusual or being an early adopter and on the cutting edge of change.”

Some have wondered if the pioneering spirit is waning as more and more electric vehicles appear on New Zealand roads.

A few also admitted that the particularly fast EV acceleration was fun on vacation. One said he sometimes “[drove] it’s like i stole it just because i could “and another said” occasionally bogan’s envy trumps better judgment “.

Holidays in Aotearoa have changed over the decades, especially as automotive technology has changed. It’s no surprise that electric vehicle technology is introducing new changes. “The way we spend the holidays is not fixed and uniform,” the couple wrote.

The report has some drawbacks. Only 34 pilots took part. Everyone liked electric vehicles enough to buy one and take it on vacation. Some reported bad experiences (“I ran our battery dead”), but most preferred electric vehicles. They will likely follow up with more robust publications.

“If we want to manage faster and more efficient transitions to sustainable travel, then it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the evolution of EV vacations,” the researchers concluded.

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