Vehicle rental company Jucy has its sights set on launching a fleet of electric campervans within the next two years.
The Auckland-based company bought an electric vehicle six months ago and has been working to convert it into an eco-friendly campervan.
French tourists Héloïse de Bokay and Solène Trinquet, 23, will hit the road next month to trial an electric campervan prototype for Jucy, driving thousands of kilometres throughout the North Island. The pair were found through a local electric vehicle (EV) blog in New Zealand after posting that they were coming to New Zealand and wanted to travel in an EV to see how feasible it was.
Jucy had the project in the works and reached out to see if they wanted to trial its converted vehicle, co-owner and chief operating officer Dan Alpe, said.
The project began to map out what its electric future looked like, Alpe said.
"It's about finding out where the infrastructure is lacking at the moment, and where work needs to be done," Alpe said. "The big focus for us is how we can find the right vehicle to get the range our customers need."
Jucy's prototype vehicle has a limited range but it is looking at ways to increase that.
"Tourists in New Zealand tend to go on a pretty consistent area, we find on average they're only really travelling 150km a day, and the advantage of that is as long as we can get range that works up to that level and some infrastructure along the way where they can stop off that will help," he said.
Development of the electric fleet will be exclusive to New Zealand but the rollout will extend to Australia.
"This is very much a trial for us. The vehicle itself works very well, but I think the challenge is going to be where the infrastructure is," Alpe said.
"We could well use this vehicle as an initial product offering but there definitely be some changes once the girls have been out on the road."
Jucy has around 2,700 vehicles in New Zealand is aiming to launch an EV fleet of a minimum of 50 vehicles.
Supermarket owner Foodstuffs yesterday announced it had secured funding from the Government's Low Emission fund to roll out a number of EV charging stations.
EV charging stations will start rolling out at a number of New World, Pak 'n Save and Four Square stores around the country in coming months.