The first of six more electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning the Kāpiti and Horowhenua regions has just opened at PAK'nSAVE Kāpiti at Coastlands Mall. Five further locations will be opening in coming months at Paekākāriki, Raumati Beach, Waikanae Beach, Foxton, and Shannon.
This expansion of chargers is the result of a partnership between EV charging station operator ChargeNet, local electricity distribution company Electra, the Kāpiti Coast and Horowhenua District Council’s and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) who provided funding support through the Low Emission Vehicle Contestable fund.
The number of electric cars in New Zealand is increasing rapidly with now over 10,000 registered. The existing units in Ōtaki and Levin are well used on a daily basis. The Kāpiti - Horowhenua project will add key infrastructure to the expanding charging network north of Wellington. This will be a valuable expansion of New Zealand’s charger infrastructure.
“The whole project is a great example of how a collaborative approach can achieve significant progress and we are delighted to be working closely with Electra, Foodstuffs and both the Kāpiti Coast and Horowhenua District councils,” says ChargeNet's CEO Steve West.
ChargeNet is continuously strengthening the charger infrastructure in New Zealand, to enable EV owners to go further. They now have over 115 operating charging stations and by the end of 2018 over 50 New World, PAK'nSAVE, and Four Square stores around the country will have EV charging stations.
Councils have worked with ChargeNet, Electra and Community Boards to determine suitable locations for the chargers, which benefit local businesses, drivers and the wider community.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan, noted that having a network of nearby electric charging stations was crucial to give confidence and awareness to local fleets and families to switch their cars to clean, green, New Zealand electricity. “The chargers are also great news for local businesses who should see more custom due to EV drivers.”
For Electra, this is a great opportunity to contribute to the adoption of clean transport energy and gain experience in the operation of this infrastructure. Electra Lines Business General Manager Max Feickert says “The development of EV charging infrastructure is an exciting additional use of electricity as a transport fuel and is part of wave of technology developments that are providing customers more choices. Electra is adopting EVs across its fleet uses, with a car, a van for gear transport and an all-wheel drive SUV for tree survey.”
PAK'nSAVE Kāpiti owner-operator Karl Marryatt says “Foodstuffs is committed to sustainable practices and promoting the uptake of clean energy transport. PAK'nSAVE Kāpiti has long had a focus on sustainability and has had a fully electric delivery van for a year.”
Coastlands Mall Centre Jan Forest is hugely excited with the opening of the charging station noting 5 million people visit the mall each year, and in doing so offers an amazing public showcase for the technology.
On average drivers spend between 10 and 30 minutes recharging an EV at a 50kW DC fast charger. Most EV owners routinely plug in and recharge their vehicles overnight at home. Used EVs are available at dealerships from around $10,000.