Electric Loop EV Festival
|Date:||Saturday January 28, 2023|
The inaugural Electric Loop EV Festival – a 222km Coromandel Peninsula loop drive for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with various activities included – is on January 28 and 29 (Auckland Anniversary Weekend).
Entry is $180 per BEV (no plug-in hybrids or internal combustion engines allowed), the ticket price including subsidised EV charging, coffee, a goody bag, activities at all stops, and support crew (charge up batteries, EV mechanics, tyre changers, software engineers, towing and more).
“The main impetus of the event is to encourage EV uptake and infrastructure,” says co-organiser EWI Energy director Jonathan Ewing.
He’s expecting a broad range of BEVs to attend, including a Polestar 2 pace car which will lead off the drive, Audi e-trons, Teslas, Porsches, Kias, Hyundais, BMWs, MGs, Mercedes-Benz BEVs, Nissans, Jaguars, Peugeots, BYD Atto 3s, the only EV ute in the country, the LDV eT60, Minis, Volkswagens, Mazdas, and Mitsubishis.
The event is also supporting the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand, contributing to its 2023 funding round, with the top 11 BEV entrants donating $100 each to the foundation for starter grid placement.
Ewing says a local mayor, Len Salt is Thames Coromandel District Council mayor, is keen to drive in the first leg of the festival.
The Electric Loop EV Festival includes an optional Saturday night dinner for $60 a head, a buffet meal at Driving Creek Railway near Coromandel, with railway rides available and a midnight EV run to Matarangi and back.
Festival side trips to Hot Water Beach and Pauanui are also included, the Sunday finishing with a prize-giving “Green Gloves Award” and a “frunk party”.
Although the festival falls during the Auckland Anniversary weekend holiday (Monday January 30 is the holiday), Ewing believes traffic won’t be a problem, especially as the next weekend is the Waitangi holiday weekend (February 6) with schools generally on holiday until then.
Ewing expects the festival to run annually.