If you've ever wondered what electric cars are like then today's your chance to find out, Donald Love says.

He's the driver of one of four that will be in Whanganui's Springvale Park car park from about 11.30am to 2pm. The four are part of a group of around 12 on the Leading The Charge tour from Bluff to Cape Reinga. Their aim is to promote electric vehicles.

Interested people will be able to talk to the drivers, have a ride and even possibly try driving the cars.

The four in Whanganui will be the "poster child for electric cars", the Tesla Model X, the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Out lan der PHEV, a Hyundai Ioniq and a Nissan Leaf, the most popular electric car in New Zealand.


It's the model Horizons Regional Council has just bought - the first zero emissions car for its staff fleet. It will save the council $4000 in running costs and the world's climate will have six fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide to cope with each year.

Whanganui councillors Hadleigh Reid and Josh Chandulal-Mackay want a charging station for electric vehicles in Whanganui. They asked the tour to get to Whanganui early, so that councillors can look at the cars before their meeting starts at 12.30pm today.

The tour aims to raise awareness about electric vehicles, remove misconceptions and show what is available, Mr Love said. It's an annual road trip funded by car manufacturers, individual owners and The Better NZ Trust.

This year it has some Government sponsorship too, for the first time.

About 14 cars left Bluff nearly two weeks ago, and drivers will join in and leave as it suits them. The tour was timed to be part of the Motor Trade Association celebrations in Wellington last weekend.

It was in Palmerston North yesterday. After that it diverged, with most vehicles, including an electric BMW, heading north up the east coast.