About Us

Our Purpose

Understanding

Our founding goal is to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. To do this we need to improve the general understanding of this technology, its benefits and advantages. We want to help all our customers to understand the new terminology, different types of charging technology and what to watch out for when you’re in the market to buy an EV.

Accelerate

The number of EVs in New Zealand has more than doubled every year since 2014. Every new EV on the roads helps to sell many more in a classic snowball effect. That’s why our products and services are designed to do exactly that – get more EVs on the roads sooner. Through our EV rentals, leasing and sales we are helping to get more EVs onto the roads sooner.

Support

We don’t just want to sell lots more EVs, but also support those who have already converted to electric. If people have a great experience buying and owning their EV then it’s more likely they will convince others to make the switch also. Our spare parts and service division supports all EV owners, regardless of whether they have bought their car from us.


Our History

 

Background

After driving his first “proper” EV in 2012 and having himself given 1,000+ test-drives around the world over the following two years, our founder knew that getting people into electric vehicles was the best way to convince them of their superiority. But it was proving an expensive hobby and with his savings running out, he decided to start Blue Cars as a way to allow him to keep doing working fulltime towards his goal – to help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand.

Incorporation

The first Nissan Leaf was purchased for our rental fleet on 30th December 2014 and the company was officially incorporated as Blue Cars Limited on 27th January 2015. Our rental fleet grew to eight vehicles during that first year. Since then the company has not only expanded its fleet further, but also started to offer addition products and services that support not only our original business, but the wider EV industry in New Zealand as well.

Diverging

After poor experiences with locally sourced charging cables, we decide to import higher quality chargers from a company in Sweden and we were soon supplying these to other EV owners as well. Similarly, after having trouble sourcing spare parts for one of our rental cars that had been damaged in an accident, we decided to start our own spare parts and service division, which has now also grown into a large part of our business servicing external customers as well as our own cars.

 

For our better health, economy & environment!

 

The Team

Carl Barlev
Founder / Managing Director

As an engineer in the power industry, Carl worked on energy projects around the world until his strong passion for sustainability drew him to electric vehicles and he secured the exciting role of building Tesla’s first supercharger stations in Europe. Carl moved back to New Zealand in 2014 and started Blue Cars as a way to let him promote EVs as a full-time job. He is also a Director of ChargeNet NZ, a founding Trustee of the The Better NZ Trust and regular participant in the #LeadingTheCharge tour of New Zealand.

 


Bill Alexander
Co-founder / GM Service & Parts

Bill joined the Blue Cars team in July 2016 as General Manager of our new Service & Parts division. He has helped us to several record “firsts” for the EV industry in New Zealand, including the first commercial battery pack swaps and refurbishing work,as well as developing a spare wheel solution for Leaf owners. Bill has Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and brings broad experience from 25 years in the transportation industry. Bill is also a founding trustee of a Charitable Trust based in Auckland.

 


Joe Camuso
Co-founder (Whangarei)

Joe was one of Blue Cars’ first investors and volunteer supporters. Besides managing our first rental EV in Whangarei, Joe has always been ready to lend a hand whenever we have an expo to attend. Originally from the US, he moved to New Zealand with his family in the mid 2006 and settled in Whangarei, where he has been a strong driving force for EVs. Joe made national headlines in 2015 when he launched New Zealand’s first 100% electric taxi.

 


Max Kafka
Business Development Consultant

Max became Blue Cars’ first official employee on 7th August 2017. Since then he’s proved to be a valuable member of our team. In addition to helping with marketing and managing of our rental and EV Experience businesses, he is also finding new ways to promote and sell our range of EV charging solutions, spare parts and services. Max is in the last stage of completing his Bachelor of Business degree at AUT and has a strong interest in sustainability.

 


 

Departed Co-founders

Although they are no longer actively involved with the company, we would like to acknowledge the earlier contribution and ongoing support of some of the people who joined the Blue Cars team during our first year. They were all enthusiatic supporters of our goals and values all contributed to helping the business get established and move forward during our first year in business.


Ben Male photo

Ben Male
Co-founder

Ben is an enthusiastic believer in sustainability and understands that clean-tech is the key to a better future. With his strong interest in renewable energy and electric vehicles in particular, Ben sees an amazing opportunity for New Zealand within this rapidly growing industry. Ben left Blue Cars in 2016 to pursue his own startup opportunity.

 


 

Alexandra Barlev photo

Alexandra Barlev
Co-founder

Alexandra was one of the first co-founders to join Blue Cars back in March 2015. She took responsibility for managing our marketing and brand strategy, organised team meetings, engaged a graphic designer and web developer, and ensured our launch at the Go Green Expo in Auckland was a great success! She had to leave our team when she moved to Denmark later that first year.

 


Annette Lunnon
Co-founder

Annette joined Blue Cars as a co-founder in July 2015 as she wanted to help contribute to a better New Zealand. During the term of her co-founder agreement she attended our stand at expos, contributed to setting up our first CRM system and received great feedback from several customers. Although she no longer has an active role with Blue Cars she is still actively involved in the promotion of EVs.

 


Dieter Riedel photo

Dieter Riedel
Co-founder

We first met Dieter at the Go Green Expo in 2015. He joined Blue Cars under a co-founder agreement shortly thereafter, with responsibility for managing our website and other IT services. Dieter has 20+ years experience in the Information Technology area and now also offers web development services through his own small company Web Design Boutique.