Sideswipe: Kumara or seal?

Auto reply from council

A reader writes: “A possum hit and killed on the road by a vehicle has been lying on the grass berm on our street in Glenfield for about a week.Auckland Council’s recorded phone message suggested using their online ‘Report a Problem’ form.The receipt was acknowledged promptly via text message to say ‘the problem is urgent and it is a priority’.(I did not state any urgency.)A follow-up text message late afternoon stated, ‘It’s a big job and needs to be looked at as part of a wider piece of work.In the meantime, we have made the area safe. Please do not reply.”

Your malapropisms, New Zealand

1. A few years ago, I was in a class of younger students and overheard one of them talking about the Beatles song, “The Mole of Kaitaia”.

2. In Dunedin in the 1960s, a fellow student was taken out to dinner with her med student boyfriend by his parents.She was finding the steak rather chewy and, intending to impress them with her knowledge of English, she exclaimed that she was “unable to masturbate this steak”.

3. An acquaintance at my sons’ school had a new male friend. She took great pains to tell us that it was purely “palatonic”. I guess that’s fair; they were just pals.

EV stats from a Tesla

“My 2019 Tesla Model 3 with a 54kwh battery, 125kwh charged in the last 31 days giving c835km, cost $1 when utilising Contact Energy three hours of free power every day. Also, can charge free at the local service station’s rapid charger. Even if I paid my normal rate of 23.34 per Kwh cost per 100km $3.49. Servicing costs since purchase $0. Road User charges $0. Petrol costs $0.”

EV stats from a Nissan Leaf

A reader writes: “Here are the facts from running a 2013 Nissan Leaf for almost four years and just over 30,000km, during which time I’ve kept meticulous records.

1. Cost of electricity. Contact Energy’s present charge is 18c/kWh (including levy and GST and a 4 per cent discount). This is a standard rate available at any time.

2. Average consumption has been 16.3kWh per 100km, slightly less than the official figure, but I drive efficiently (not slowly!) and make full use of regenerative braking.

3. Driving 500km would consume 81.54kWh.

4. Consumption has been measured by a meter, so is accurate. Actual electricity consumption has been 2.8c/km. Maintenance cost ZERO, aside from the WoF that any car has to have.”

Road User Charges for EVs

Government policy is for electric vehicles to carry Road User Charges from 2024, bringing them into line with other road users. At that point, I assume the following: 18kWh/100 km at 33 cents is 6 cents fuel a km. Adding 8 cents a km RUC gives you about 14 cents a km fuel cost. Most efficient internal combustion engine cars – equivalent to a Nissan Leaf in size and power – are now doing 5 litres petrol /100 km or less. At $3 a litre, that’s 15 cents a km. They have a range of 500-600 km, and cost much less, which is significant when spread over vehicle life. Electric cars will be a game-changer, only when the price comes down and battery energy density goes up. At the moment they are more about image.”

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