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Automotive senior lecturer Kevin O'Neill said it was not a matter of if but when manufacturers began bringing vehicles to the New Zealand market instead of their petrol and diesel counterparts.
Already electric motors throughout the world had more torque and more power than anything a petrol or diesel motor could muster.
But the scepticism among some in New Zealand about the potential for electric vehicles was the ‘‘cycle life’’ of batteries.
A cellphone battery, for example, might be good for 500 charges and discharges before it dropped to 80% effectiveness.
And early electric cars suffered from a similar drawback.
But in the same way cellphones improved over the years, improvements in the cycle life of car batteries were being made.
‘‘I can remember when cellphones were briefcase-sized,’’ Mr O'Neill said.
The improvements in electric vehicle batteries were raising expectations and there were interesting possibilities on the horizon.
‘‘Think of an electric truck that a tradie can take up to their site, which might have no power, and they can run the site for the day, and still have enough electricity to go home,’’ he said.
‘‘Or maybe someone’s got a bach, that they don’t want to put power to, because it’s too dear, but they can drive their car to it, they can plug their car into the bach and they can run the bach for the weekend while they’re there.’’