Me and my car: Malcolm Rands

By Donna McIntyre

Malcolm Rands, co-owner of ecostore, is enthusiastic about his latest Prius

Toyota hybrid fits with eco message Picture / Ted Baghurst
Toyota hybrid fits with eco message Picture / Ted Baghurst

What do you drive?

I drive the latest iTech Prius, Toyota's hybrid. It's sleek, a beautiful colour, like a dark grey but with a tinge of aubergine. I love the Prius because it embodies where green is going, there are no compromises at all for me. It drives beautifully, it's good looking. As you know I'm the eco-guy and I did a lot of research and there are going to be some exciting electric cars. I have seen the Tesla in the United States; they have taken electric cars to the very top of the market, like a Ferrari or a Porsche. They are outrageously beautiful. They are trying to make electric not fuddy-duddy but an aspirational thing.

Main consideration if you are buying a car?

Fuel economy, reliability and I've always been a Toyota fan because they last so long.

First car?

I used to play in a rock'n'roll band in the 1970s and I had a little Ford Escort van to cart my gear around.

Your dream car ...

I once drove my friend's Lexus, also a hybrid, and it was amazing. So I would have that for fun but, everyday, my dream car is the one I've got.

Favourite car colour?

This is my second Prius and I bought my old one off the company and my partner, Melanie, now runs it. It is the most gorgeous green. They really nailed the colour.

Who taught you to drive?

I taught myself to drive because the first two years of my licence was with my motorcycle. When I was very young at the beach, my dad would let me operate the car off-road.

Manual or automatic?

Back in the day I thought I'd always be a manual guy but now I commute up to Tutukaka once a week and I'm loving the automatic. The Prius has a radar control cruise option where you tag the car in front of you and when it speeds up, you speed up. And when it slows down, you slow down. That has revolutionised my travelling experience. It de-stresses it. I just relax and steer. It's the first step to the self-drive car which is coming in the next 10 years.

Most memorable road trip?

The first time with my young family that I went back to the South Island. We had a modern 4WD and the roads were so spectacular and well formed.

What do you listen to in your car?

Melanie is an amazing curator of music and now she has it all on her iPhone so she is my DJ.

What's a great day trip out of Auckland?

With a family trip in winter I would go to the Miranda hot pools. If I have overseas visitors we go over the Waitakeres and on out to Bethells Beach.

Does what people drive influence how you perceive them?

I think everyone would be a liar if they answered no. I think what you drive can tell you about the person.

Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?

I live in central Auckland so public transport is an option for me but if I have the time I would rather walk.

Who else is allowed to drive your car?

I just got a new car and I'm being a little precious at the moment, so just me and my partner. But that won't last long. I will go back to how I usually am when I let anyone in my family and most people in the office drive my car.

Do you have a personalised plate?

I do, it's EC0MAN.

Bikes and cars ... is there space for both on NZ roads?

I think there has to be space for both; but I don't think there is at the moment. Auckland is a dangerous place to be a bike rider.

As told to Donna McIntyre

- NZ Herald

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