On 21 September environmentalists and those concerned about climate change will take part in the Golden Bay People's Climate Drive – the first hybrid and electrical vehicle rally in New Zealand.
Kicking off at 10am at the Takaka Library Car Park, the Golden Bay People's Climate Drive will celebrate the coming of age of vehicles that are not entirely dependent on fossil fuels.
The rally will feature enthusiastic owners of both hybrid cars and electric bicycles, while experts from the motor trade – including Bowater Toyota and Houston Motors from Nelson – will be showing their latest models.
The rally will end at the Mussel Inn at Onekaka at 11:30am, where a convoy of electric and hybrid vehicles will offer people the chance to go for a ride and experience the future of automobiles for themselves.
The event is part of a global day of action to press world leaders in making significant progress in the imminent UN talks on Climate Change. There will be a brief speech about the recent United Nations Small Island Developing States conference and the government of Samoa's e-car project.
The star of the show will be Albie's Li'l Blue, an all-electric car that runs on sunshine generated from the owner's photovoltaic panels (pictured above).
His car uses lithium ferrous phosphate batteries, which weigh less than half the weight of lead acid batteries but have more than three times the range. Although more expensive, they have a projected 25 year lifespan compared with only two years for lead acid.
One of the event's organisers, Kevin Durkan, is also a member of international lobbyist group Avaaz. He said the event – and others like it across the world – was aimed at curtailing "runaway climate change".
He added: "Golden Bay residents are taking part to help show the huge level of public support for a global deal that will avert climate catastrophe and unleash a new 100% clean future."