The island is off the electrical grid and largely reliant on solar power, meaning the Aotea range is 100 per cent run by renewable energy. But there are plans to take that even further with dreams of a micro grid, and they’re working on designing and building their own solar panels and wind turbines.

That hands-on approach meant Toki’s first goal when partnering with Audi was getting under the hood of the Audi e-tron to understand more about the capabilities of the EV range. He says Audi is an example of positive change happening around the world

“Because we are a company that has a certain vision, it’s cool to see how the world is changing and how big companies like Audi are expressing the shift in consciousness and see that manifesting in their range.”

Dean Sheed, General Manager of Audi New Zealand says there is no doubt that a new era has begun as the industry transitions form ICE – internal combustion engines – to electric mobility, and with New Zealand leading the world in terms of green electricity, we’re the perfect market for EVs.

“There’s a societal change that's happened due to global warming and we have got to be kinder on the plant for our children, and children’s children and ultimately, to do the right thing.”
Sheed is confident that a nation passionate about motor vehicles will be able to go electric, largely because electric offerings show superior design and performance is possible without compromise. He says the Audi e-tron SUV is the perfect example.

“It goes off and on road. It can tow up to 1.8 tonnes, so small boats can be towed and you can put a pod on the roof for those skiing holidays. Everything you would do in a petrol or diesel SUV, you can do in an Audi e-tron. It looks like an Audi, it drives like one, it just happens to be electric.”

That’s backed up by the stats. The Audi e-tron is powered by two electric motors. The e-tron 55 quattro and e-tron 55 quattro Advanced have a system output of up to 300 kW and 664 Nm of torque. The Audi SUV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds.

With a range of between 300 and 400km, it more than covers the average 40km per day done by Kiwi drivers, with a top-up charge done each night at home and a growing network of high performance chargers around the country available for long distance.

The Audi’ e-tron’s sustainability credentials include manufacturing, with two of the company’s European plants certified carbon neutral. That’s achieved through initiatives ranging from the use of solar power through to water soluble paints.

Having committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, Audi is committed to a sustainable future.

“That future is only looking bigger and better, says Sheed, both for EVs and the planet. It may take people a while to convert, but they’ll get there.”

“If I can show them a car that delivers in performance and efficiency to a greater degree, they’ll start seeing there’s a new way.”

Audi will introduce 20 fully electric models to market by 2025.