And so begins Warren Johns’ day. He had his Free Power Day booked for 6 June and was up at 12 o’clock that morning to make the most of it.
Seven loads of washing completed. Four cakes baked to share with friends. Two hot baths while the rain pattered outside. One batch of slow cooked lamb shanks simmering in the oven. All of this inside a warm toasty house with National Radio playing in the background.
Each of these activities by themselves might not seem like much but together they become something quite special – showing how electricity really delivers a whole host of wonderful options.
Mr Johns, who lives in his family home, has continued the relationship his parents had with us as the original owners of his home. All up, they’ve been loyal Mercury customers for nearly 20 years – right back to day one of our company’s history. He is also one of our investors.
Our relationship with him has grown over time thanks to a series of inspiring, customer-focused initiatives. Our newest advocate for electric vehicles – a 1957 Ford Fairlane converted to plug-in electric and christened Evie – is another great example of “energy made wonderful”.
A self-confessed vintage and classic car enthusiast, Mr Johns saw Evie at the ‘Galaxy of Cars’ show earlier this year. It reminded him of his father’s 1937 Ford V8 Coupe. So he talked to our Mercury team, who were on site, about Evie's vitals: 2.2 m wide, 5.5m long, 2.2 tonnes, 218 battery cells, 50kWh capacity, 2 hour charging.
He has had a number of conversations with us during his time with Mercury, but never about a car.
It is a powerful illustration of how our customer promise – to inspire, reward and make things easy – has value across the business. Through partnerships and connecting it helps us learn about what customers expect and value, and that guides innovation. It also allows us to show people the real value of New Zealand’s renewable energy.
Mr Johns’ story came to our attention after he wrote to Fraser, Mercury’s Chief Executive, to outline how he used his Free Power Day, his appreciation of Evie and the wonderful ways he has interacted with our people.
Upon receiving the letter, Fraser called Mr Johns to thank him for sharing the story of his wonderful day. As part of Mr Johns’ letter he also told us how much he would love to go for a drive in Evie one day. It was an opportunity we couldn't resist, so on 7 August we took him for a ride around his neighbourhood.
See what happened when we picked him up:
Evie is our beautiful 1957 Ford Fairlane, converted from a gas guzzler to plug-in electric.
She is the poster-child for electric vehicles, and really brings Mercury’s mission, Energy Freedom, to life. We think she is the perfect symbol of our escape from the cost (environmental and financial) and reliance on fossil fuels.
We have long promoted the rational benefits of electric vehicles to New Zealanders. At an equivalent of 30c per litre compared with petrol and delivering 2,000kgs in annual reductions in carbon emissions, they’ve always been an easy decision for the head.
Converting this classic was a way for us to start capturing people’s hearts as well. Evie helps people see how wonderful electric vehicles can be.
We plan to use Evie to continue to showcase the outstanding opportunity New Zealand has to achieve energy freedom through renewable electricity powering our transport. If we raise our sights beyond renewable electricity targets to our overall renewable energy use, particularly across the transport and industrial sectors, our country could take major steps towards reducing our overall greenhouse gas emissions and dramatically reduce the cost that imported fuel has on households and the New Zealand economy.
- 2.2 m wide
- 5.5m long
- 2.2 tonnes
- 218 battery cells
- 50kWh capacity
- 2 hour charging