EVLN: Why can't NZ import LHD Bolt EVs? | (GM Tries To Out-Musk Tesla)

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EVLN: Why can't NZ import LHD Bolt EVs? | (GM Tries To Out-Musk Tesla)

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Holden asks: Why can't we import left-hand drive Bolt electric vehicles?
November 16 2017  ROB MAETZIG

Holden New Zealand wants this electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt, imported
here in left-hand drive

Holden New Zealand wants to begin selling the hugely popular Bolt electric
vehicle. There's only one hitch - it will have to be left-hand drive.

Managing director Kristian Aquilina is keen to see the Government relax
current regulations on the sale of left-hand drive vehicles so a limited
number of the Bolts can be imported, mainly as a means of demonstrating the
big advances being achieved in EV technology.

The Bolt is built in North America and sold there as a Chevy. It's also sold
in some left-hand drive markets in Europe as the Opel Ampera-E, and there is
talk that a business case is being prepared to produce it in right-hand
drive form for markets such as the UK.
Kristian Aquilina: If the Government is happy for it to happen with big V8s,
why can't it do the same with EVs?

Kristian Aquilina: If the Government is happy for it to happen with big V8s,
why can't it do the same with EVs?

But until that happens, Aquilina wants the car to be sold in New Zealand -
even with the steering wheel on the wrong side.

"We would like to talk to the Government about opening up an opportunity to
bring in small numbers of EVs in left-hand drive to at least demonstrate the
vehicles, their capability, and to get consumers used to their benefits," he
told journalists during a media conference in New Plymouth.

The discussion arose during the national launch of Holden's new
Mexican-built Equinox SUV, which is being introduced as replacement for the
Korean-built five-seater Captiva which went out of production two years ago.

The Bolt is proving a major success in North America, thanks to its
reasonable price - it can be purchased for as low as NZ$44,000 thanks to
federal tax credits that are in place in some states as a financial
incentive to buy EVs - and it has a range on a full charge of up to 400km.

Aquilina forecast EVs will play a bigger role in New Zealand in the future,
as costs associated with their production come down.

"General Motors already has a strong stable of EVs on the way, but the cost
associated with making them right-hand drive for small markets like New
Zealand makes it pretty tough to bring them in," he said.

This has meant General Motors has become a "forgotten leader" in EV
technology in this part of the world, he added. So Holden NZ wants to bring
in a selection of the Bolts to showcase what they can do.

"For EVs to become a true everyday proposition, enthusiasts and companies
need to trial these cars," he said.

The current rules allow enthusiasts to import and register specialist
left-hand drive vehicles, mainly performance cars. But Aquilina said there's
no reason why the Government couldn't follow the lead of Japan and relax the
rules to also allow the more standard product such as the Bolt to be

"Over there, you can see a left-hand drive Cadillac on the same road as a
Japanese-built Camry. It's just the norm - and I can't see why we can't do
it too.

"If our Government is happy for it to happen with big V8s, why can't it do
the same with EVs?"
[© 2017 Fairfax New Zealand]

GM's CEO Tries To Out-Musk Tesla With 1 Million EV Sales Goal
2017-11-15 ... including two crossover utility vehicles inspired by the
Chevrolet Bolt, a van ... "We are committed to a future electric vehicle
portfolio that will be profitable" ...

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