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  Reply # 1976398 14-Mar-2018 10:53
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The driving-side switch is a really stupid idea for a number of reasons:

 

 - the origin countries of most of our tourists and immigrants are RHD like us
 - many of our tourist destinations are RHD like us
 - we'd have a mixed fleet with a significant proportion of "wrong" cars for at least ten years, judging by NZ's current fleet
 - there is a significant proportion of drivers who would cope very badly with the change.  I'm talking of those who can barely drive competently now such as old drivers who just about remain safe and who would never dream of driving overseas in a LHD country - you'd be effectively ending their safe driving careers
 - you'd cut off the supply of good value used cars from Japan and Singapore

 

I'd predict a significant interim increase in the road toll, tailing back to current levels over ten years or so.

 

Someone remind me what the benefit would be


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  Reply # 1976399 14-Mar-2018 11:00
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Wow, a lot drives on the left, maybe EU and China should swap, that covers the mainstream developed world where cars we buy are made


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1976410 14-Mar-2018 11:10
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tdgeek:

 

Wow, a lot drives on the left, maybe EU and China should swap, that covers the mainstream developed world where cars we buy are made

 

 

I think the idea would be that if we could get cars from Europe and the Americas, we'd be better off as we would have more choice and lower prices.  

 

I think thats true but it would take a long time to see the benefits, which would show up in slightly more money in peoples pockets 20 years later. New cars would be cheaper, and so used cars eventually as well.  We'd still have Japanese cars as most of those are made LHD already in America and Europe, where Japanese companies have factories for LHD already, so no loss there.  Chinese cars are LHD and probably will be exporting like mad in a few years too.

 

If China ever mass produces cheap EVs of export quality that we miss out on, we might be more enthusiasitc.

 

So short term pain, long term gain.  Not something democracies are good at :)

 

 


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  Reply # 1976412 14-Mar-2018 11:16
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happyfunball:

 

tdgeek:

 

Wow, a lot drives on the left, maybe EU and China should swap, that covers the mainstream developed world where cars we buy are made

 

 

I think the idea would be that if we could get cars from Europe and the Americas, we'd be better off as we would have more choice and lower prices.  

 

I think thats true but it would take a long time to see the benefits, which would show up in slightly more money in peoples pockets 20 years later. New cars would be cheaper, and so used cars eventually as well.  We'd still have Japanese cars as most of those are made LHD already in America and Europe, where Japanese companies have factories for LHD already, so no loss there.  Chinese cars are LHD and probably will be exporting like mad in a few years too.

 

If China ever mass produces cheap EVs of export quality that we miss out on, we might be more enthusiasitc.

 

So short term pain, long term gain.  Not something democracies are good at :)

 

 

 

 

Bottom line its not worth it. As to cheaper cares I dont see that, given the market size of us lefties, it isnt small. Plus the chassis etc are bound to be single tooled, with left and right holes where needed, rather than a seperate production run


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  Reply # 1976465 14-Mar-2018 13:14
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happyfunball:

 

 We'd still have Japanese cars as most of those are made LHD already in America and Europe, where Japanese companies have factories for LHD already, so no loss there.

 

 

My point was that we would no longer have cheap Japanese second-hand (aka JDM) cars available to us.

 

 


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  Reply # 1976507 14-Mar-2018 14:17
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frankv:

 

happyfunball:

 

 We'd still have Japanese cars as most of those are made LHD already in America and Europe, where Japanese companies have factories for LHD already, so no loss there.

 

 

My point was that we would no longer have cheap Japanese second-hand (aka JDM) cars available to us.

 

 

 

 

The average age of the fleet suggests the ones we already have would be with us for a long time too. 




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  Reply # 1976738 14-Mar-2018 20:41
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happyfunball:

 

That would probably save a lot of lives but would it really save much money?

 



We would have wider choice of vehicles of all kinds.....so we'd either save money or have more choice....of hopefully both. :-) 

But the side of the road we drive is a bit of a religion....like school uniforms and other stuff people believe just because. 

I grew up in a left hand drive place and drove there for 5 years.....and have been RHD for most of 35 years. I can swap between them more or less seamlessly.  Especially now we do the left hand turn priority using the same method as everyone else (even if its right hand turn for them....) 

I don't really care......but I'd love to have the option of buying a Chevy Bolt. :-)  





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  Reply # 1976740 14-Mar-2018 20:45
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MikeAqua:

 

 

 

In theory I would be willing to switch sides of the road in reality I think it would be logistically difficult and horrendously expensive.

 

And of course it would give us the immediate problem that most cars would then have the steering wheel on the wrong side.

 

 

Give it 10 years.....problem solved...and all our old RHD cars become 2nd-hand imports for Sri Lanka and whoever. :-) 

Or the government subsidises conversions.....at scale it could be fairly economic. The automakers have the parts.....





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  Reply # 1976744 14-Mar-2018 20:49
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MarkH67:

 

happyfunball:

 

It would be very difficult to do unless Australia did it as well, and most of our tourists by far come from there.

 

 

I am pretty sure that changing the side of the road we drive on would be a majorly expensive and difficult thing to do.  I don't think it would be worth it unless Japan, UK & Australia also did it.  If a decision was made that all countries would all have the cars driving on the right side of the road then there would certainly be some advantages.  If it were to be done then now is probably better than latter (a few decades ago would have been even better) due to the increased change of cars as we switch to EVs.

 



Not sure why the 4-5 countries that are RHD matter so much when we'd have access to the 190-odd that are LHD.....

Anyway....was just a thought experiment. :-) 





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  Reply # 1976911 15-Mar-2018 06:38
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Linuxluver:

 

MikeAqua:

 

 

 

In theory I would be willing to switch sides of the road in reality I think it would be logistically difficult and horrendously expensive.

 

And of course it would give us the immediate problem that most cars would then have the steering wheel on the wrong side.

 

 

Give it 10 years.....problem solved...and all our old RHD cars become 2nd-hand imports for Sri Lanka and whoever. :-) 

Or the government subsidises conversions.....at scale it could be fairly economic. The automakers have the parts.....

 

 

Not every car can be converted and it completely destroys the way that RHD designed cars feel. Ask anyone who has had a specialised LHD vehicle converted to RHD. It's an expensive and time consuming process if it can even be done at all. 

 

Our fleet is also closer to 15 years old on average than 10. 


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  Reply # 1978504 16-Mar-2018 10:58
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http://www.concept.co.nz/uploads/2/5/5/4/25542442/ev_study_v1.0.pdf

 

The above 68-page report is titled:

 

“Driving change” –Issues and options to maximise the opportunities from large-scale electric vehicle uptake in New Zealand

 

You can read comments on the above report in the Radio NZ link that follows:

 

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/352630/retailers-insist-they-re-not-holding-evs-back

 

The opening sentence of the above article says that:

 

"Electricity retailers insist they are not standing in the way of greater use of electric vehicles (EVs), despite damning criticism in a recent report."

 

The Radio NZ article also says that:

 

"But the report, by Concept Consulting, said uptake of EVs would be held back and electricity supply costs would be higher than they needed to be because of the way electricity companies priced their power.

 

"Without electricity pricing reform, our research shows costs to consumers could be higher by approximately $4 billion over the next 30 years, and vehicle emissions more than one-third greater in 2050," Concept director Simon Coates said."

 

Overall, it's well worth reading this Concept Consulting report.


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  Reply # 1978599 16-Mar-2018 12:52
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Thanks for those links. Interesting reading.

 

The Radio NZ story seems a bit sensationalist, typical of news reporting. The Concept Consulting had no "damning criticism" of electricity retailers that I could see, just a fairly thorough analysis showing that there are no easy answers.

 

I have my PHEV timer set to start charging at 11pm each night, a couple of hours after the price typically gets much cheaper. (Flick, so the price varies each day but there is always a big drop at 9pm weekdays.) But I generally do that to minimise my contribution to peak demand rather than for any financial incentive; it's usually less than one dollar to recharge to full.


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  Reply # 1978601 16-Mar-2018 12:55
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Linuxluver:

 

MikeAqua:

 

In theory I would be willing to switch sides of the road in reality I think it would be logistically difficult and horrendously expensive.

 

And of course it would give us the immediate problem that most cars would then have the steering wheel on the wrong side.

 

 

Give it 10 years.....problem solved...and all our old RHD cars become 2nd-hand imports for Sri Lanka and whoever. :-) 

Or the government subsidises conversions.....at scale it could be fairly economic. The automakers have the parts.....

 

 

I assume that's reference to the steering wheel is on not mattering in self drive cars?

 

Always dangerous to guess on technology development but .... I can't see affordable self drive cars operating outside of well marked urban streets and motorways any time soon.  Even if they were available in ten years it would take another 10 for them to filter down through the national fleet.  We are a higher income household and two of three cars are over 10 years old.

 

Subsidising drive-side conversions, is just more expense and not feasible for all vehicles.  Govt subsidies increase demand which inflates prices and attracts cowboys - as it in the insulation market

 

 





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  Reply # 1978604 16-Mar-2018 13:03
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Orion also posted a submission on how networks would deal with increased charging demand at home for ev arguing for systematic approach to encourage smooth off peak use to charge to avoid everyone turning cars all on at say 11pm.

Asked how power companies could get access to individual ev car owners to manage this like do with ripple control but would be privacy implications.

Also how would deal with the EV companies wanting to capture usage data using propriatory systems and charging power companies for this information.

There have been strange comments such as how the increasing size of batteries will cause home network problems without acknowledging that how much you charge your car reflects the km driven not the size of battery. Ie I only charge my 24kW leaf every couple of days and if my battery was twice the size I would still draw the same current because the car has driven the same number of km.

Mind you in winter, the 2.4kW oil column heater uses more power than my leaf.

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  Reply # 1978718 16-Mar-2018 15:08
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afe66: 

There have been strange comments such as how the increasing size of batteries will cause home network problems without acknowledging that how much you charge your car reflects the km driven not the size of battery. Ie I only charge my 24kW leaf every couple of days and if my battery was twice the size I would still draw the same current because the car has driven the same number of km.

Mind you in winter, the 2.4kW oil column heater uses more power than my leaf.

 

Those are really good points.  Since heating takes up so much power, would could save a load on the grid just by insulating roofs more or double glazing, not to mention reduce emissions.

 

Also when we plug in is not when we charge, most cars have timers to start charging as late as they can to get to full before the set time.  I set my car to charge to full a few minutes before I leave in the morning, but I can plug it in anytime.  


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