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New fast-charge stations for more electric vehicles

New fast-charge stations for more electric vehicles in Wellington

Wellington has taken another leap forward in the move to Electric Vehicles (EVs), with the installation of three new fast-charge stations in the city.

Like the mobile phone revolution, EVs are expected to become part of our everyday lives.

One of the barriers to EV adoption is a lack of public charging stations, which is why Contact Energy, ChargeNet and Wellington City Council have decided to quadruple the city’s fast-charging infrastructure.

The three new chargers are at Barnett Street near Te Papa, Grey Street near the Lambton Quay shopping district, and Inglewood Place near the Courtenay Place entertainment zone.

Contact Energy is pleased to invest in fast-chargers, which will help reduce carbon emissions from transport which produces almost a fifth of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas.

“With almost all of our electricity produced from renewable sources, it makes sense to use this advantage to help decarbonise the economy,” Contact Chief Generation & Development Officer James Kilty says.

“EVs produce 80 percent fewer emissions than petrol-powered cars and are much cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel equivalent.”

Transport makes up the greatest share of Wellington’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it is also one of the areas where policy changes are likely to do the most good, according to the city’s Low Carbon Capital Plan.

EVs have been identified as an effective tool to reduce transport emissions, and the plan will set aside 100 car parks (30 in the CBD, 70 in the suburbs) for EV charging and car share infrastructure.

“Charging on the go takes a shift in mind-set from the five minute petrol stops that people are used to. You’re going to be there at least 10 minutes, so the ideal charging site is a place where there is something to do,” said Wellington City Council Mayor Justin Lester.

“This is the infrastructure gap that Wellington City Council is well-placed to fill with the public parking spaces we manage. It’s this kind of partnership and smart thinking that will give us practical ways to tackle climate change, and we’re happy to do our part.”

Currently there are almost 10,000 EVs in New Zealand, and the Government is hoping to lift this to 64,000 by 2021. This is being aided by the falling price of new EVs and an increasing number of second hand vehicles in the market, where prices start at around $10,000.

Public charging stations also have a critical role to play in driving EV adoption. This is because while most EVs will be charged overnight at private residences, there will be situations where on-the-go charging options are needed. In Wellington’s hilly suburbs many customers can’t connect their EV to a home charger – so being able to access public fast-chargers becomes even more important.

This is where high tech, super quick, large capacity chargers, like the ones installed in Wellington, will come in as they can charge an EV with enough energy to drive from Wellington to Levin (97km) in around 20 minutes.

“One of the critical factors for people when it comes to personal transport is reliability – no one wants to be stuck on the side of the road with a flat battery,” says ChargeNet CEO Steve West.

“This is why we’re building a network of charging stations across the country. The three new chargers we’re installing in Wellington will be a critical link in this network, giving drivers the peace of mind they need to get behind the wheel of an EV.”

(ENDS)

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