Visitors to Eat Streat enjoyed an additional treat with their lunch when a range of electric cars, including a top of the line Tesla, went on display.

The cars were in the city yesterday as part of the Better New Zealand Trust's #leadingthecharge campaign to promote the use of electric vehicles.

A group of electric car owners are driving from Cape Reinga to Bluff, stopping in the main centres, to show how the vehicles are becoming more and more affordable and how they are better for the environment than any other mode of transport on the road.

On display were a Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander (hybrid), BMW i3 (hybrid) and four different models of Tesla cars, including a $220,000 luxury Tesla P90D Model S.


The display saw hundreds of people learning about the vehicles, with a few lucky ones getting a ride.

Better New Zealand Trust chairwoman Kathryn Trounson said the trust was all about sustainability and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide "being churned into the atmosphere".

"The benefits of electric transport is that we won't have to rely on imported oil and, considering 80 per cent of New Zealand's electricity generation is from clean green sources, so much better for our environment."

Mrs Trounson said there was still a perception that electric cars were too expensive, but she said that was changing fast.

"Early [electric car] adopters did spend a lot on their vehicles, but the prices are coming down significantly, especially for second hand Japanese ones."

She said there were around 1100 electric cars in New Zealand and infrastructure, such as charging points, were being installed across the country.

But Norway, with a similar population to New Zealand has 70,000 electric cars.

"People don't really think about how much they could save by using an electric car, on things like petrol, oil, servicing, brakes and things like that.


"Most of the big car companies don't like electric because of servicing issues, but all you have to do on one is fill the window washers and change the tyres every now and then."

Follow the Better New Zealand Trust's campaign on Twitter at #leadingthecharge.