Expert: Wind could run New Zealand's cars

March 23, 2009 at 9:10 PM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 23 (UPI) -- All cars in New Zealand could some day be electric vehicles powered by wind, an expert said.

Bruce Smith, director of modeling and forecasting at the Electricity Commission, planned to tell a biofuels and electric vehicles conference in Wellington that electric cars could triple the country's capacity to use wind power, the New Zealand Herald reported Monday.

Smith estimated that if 2.5 million of New Zealand's roughly 4 million registered vehicles were electric, the fleet could run off 3,000 megawatts of wind generation, which is about three times the amount of wind power that is built or ready for construction currently.

The newspaper noted that electric cars are not widely available in New Zealand, and about 70 percent of New Zealand's electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar.

Smith said electric cars could be plugged into special electricity meters designed to recharge car batteries whenever electricity on the power grid was most plentiful.

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