THE CAR

If this car were a vegetable it would be kale. But don't let that put you off. Yes, it's a holy car. But don't let that put you off either. It's green and smart and pretty, actually, and as you purr along, you wonder why the hell didn't they get on to this a very long time ago. The quiet achiever seems ideal as an around-town kinda vehicle. I would feel anxious - with a 200km charge limit - taking it on a road trip. Though charging stations are cropping up all over the place. Consolation: You could go to Hamilton one way.

THE DRIVES

hhhhhh. Listen. Can you hear it? I ask my passengers. This is freaky, comes the reply. Will the cats know to get out of our way, because they won't hear us coming, says another. You could totally creep up on the oblivious pedestrian with ear plugs in and not watching where they're going. Turning on the ignition, there is no noise. It's the silent treatment I associate with a flat battery. But the car's going, all right, because as soon as I slip into reverse and depress the tiny handbrake button (also slightly disconcerting at first but you get used to it), we quietly glide like a silver swan, back up the drive and out into the (now greener, thanks to you) world. The most gratifying thing is that the car feels solid and cool. Being in a green car is no handbrake to style or pep. We take a blast out to the airport to test its powers and also because we actually do have to drop off a friend. The speedometer is in miles, with tiny kms beside in small print - so there's no excuse for protesting, Your Honour, that you had no idea you were going 140km - you totally thought it was only nearly 90km. And if you're the type of person who likes the sound of a good combustion engine, don't despair: you get to hear everyone else's while you whiz around. Or, in a quiet suburban street, just the sound of the wheels on the road and the trees wheezily sighing, thank you.

The Specs

VW Golf Electric

Free for one day on the Electric Day Pass initiative is a joint venture between Europcar, VW and Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland Airports.

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The programme allows regular business travellers who fly into any of the three cities between Monday and Friday and out on the same day, the opportunity to book an e-Golf for their day of travel, free of charge. The keys are collected the Europcar desk and the cars are picked up from, and dropped back to, prime parking spots at all three airports.

volkswagen.co.nz/new-cars/electric-day-pass-program