Kerikeri Retirement Village is believed to be the first aged-care facility in the country to buy a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) for its residents' use.
The four new vehicles — three Nissan Leafs for residents and a Kia Soul for staff — were taken for a test run around town on Friday.
Among those trying out the new technology was Joan Pasche, who turns 94 this month.
''I think it'll be brilliant, the petrol we'll save and being able to share cars. It might allow more elderly to dispense with their own cars because these will be available.''
Pasche said she had mastered email, eftpos and her iPhone, so there was no reason she couldn't learn to drive an EV.
Liz Berry, 77, said she still had her own car but a day might come when she only needed to travel around town, in which case a shared vehicle would be ideal.
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''It's the way of the future because they don't use fossil fuels,'' she said.
Village chief executive Hilary Sumpter believed the shared-EV initiative — dubbed KEVNS, short for Kerikeri Electric Vehicle Network for Seniors — was a first for an aged-care facility.
Residents would be able to hire the vehicles for half an hour to a full day. Those who didn't drive often wouldn't need to own their own car, reducing their living expenses. The scheme would also help reduce congestion and benefit the environment.
If it was a success it could be expanded to other senior citizens in Kerikeri, Sumpter said.
The village was also sponsoring the installation of a fast-charger in Waipapa to help fill a gap in the charging network.
Kerikeri already has a charger in the car park behind the John Butler Centre.