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Wellington’s First Solar-Powered EV Charger

September 1, 2016

Wellington’s First Solar-Powered EV Charger to Be Launched

Wellington’s first solar-powered electric vehicle charging station – built especially by and for the community – will be launched at Sustainability Trust next month.

Sustainability Trust has partnered with ePower New Zealand and Charge Net to install a charging station for electric cars – and the odd electric bike – to say thanks to Wellingtonians who have invested in the technology.

“We want to thank electric vehicle owners for their commitment to a low carbon future and encourage more people to buy an EV when they next purchase a car by adding to the network of convenient charging points across the city,” says Sustainability Trust chief executive Philip Squire.

“Electric vehicles are an important part of the solution for a city committed to becoming a low carbon capital.”

The charging station is outside the Trust’s EcoCentre in Forresters Lane, off Tory St and behind Courtenay Pl. It is free for the community to use and two EV priority car parks have been created outside the EcoCentre.

“The neat thing about our charging station is that it draws from our own power supply, which is supported by 12 solar panels on the side of our EcoCentre and generate about 20 per cent of our electricity over a year,” says Squire.

It has been installed with the volunteer support of local electric vehicle enthusiasts, including Nissan Leaf owner Patrick Herd.

“My wife and I got the EV bug after driving a Tesla in 2014 – they’re great fun to drive. But more importantly as humans we owe it to the planet to start using more environmentally sustainable transport.”

The number of electric vehicles in New Zealand is growing quickly and the charging infrastructure needs to be in place if that growth is to be supported, Herd says.

The charging station will be officially launched at the Trust’s Spring Market on Saturday, September 10 just before 10am. Curious public and media are welcome.

Mevo, which is launching New Zealand’s first electric car share in Wellington this Spring, will be there to demonstrate how to use the charging station, with test drives on offer in an electric car.

Electric vehicle facts and figures

• New Zealanders own 3.7 million vehicles – only 1216 are electric so far, but it’s fast growing.

• About 80 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity supply is generated from renewable sources, which means the ‘fuel’ for the cars is cleaner and New Zealand-made.

• Electric vehicles create 80 per cent less emissions than petrol or diesel-fuelled cars.

• Upfront costs for electric vehicles are currently high but the low running costs mean it can often be a more economical purchase. The cost of petrol is currently about $1.70 to $1.90 per litre, and the equivalent power needed in an electric vehicle is about 30c per litre.

• The Government is on board with growing our country’s electric vehicle fleet - in May they announced a package to encourage more people to invest in the cars and do more research into the benefits.

• There are currently 23 public fast chargers in New Zealand, two of which are in Wellington. There are more than 100 slow chargers. See the full list of chargers here.

• It’s International Drive Electric Week! It runs from September 10 to 18. More on events for the week here.

© Scoop Media

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