Northland is pushing on as New Zealand’s ‘electric vehicle’ capital with the recent launch of a fast charge station at Kaiwaka on Friday, October 30 2015.

The Kaiwaka fast charger, which can fully charge an EV in 20–25 minutes, is a collaboration between local electricity lines company Northpower, Kaipara District Council and ChargeNet. It is located outside ‘Jaque’s Four Square store, giving Aucklander’s easy access to juice up on their way north.

ChargeNet plans to roll-out a further 74 fast charge stations around New Zealand over three years – the next in Dargaville by the end of November, just weeks after Northpower put in a destination charger at Totara Street.

Totara St, Dargaville ChargeNet EV charger launch

The Far North will be home to another ChargeNet fast charger before Christmas, while Northpower will also have destination chargers in Mangawhai and Tutukaka within weeks – taking its total of EV chargers in Kaipara and Whangarei to 12.

Northpower launched New Zealand’s first EV fast charger in Whangarei in 2014. There are now more than 50 EVs in Northland – most of those in Whangarei – and Northpower is keen to share its knowledge to help other areas of New Zealand with EV uptake.

ChargeNet Director Steve West says having the company’s first fast charger in place is pleasing.

“Northpower and the Kaipara District Council have made the process so easy. The sooner we get more fast chargers around the country the sooner we can enable the spread of EVs. These vehicles are going to be a game changer for New Zealand by lowering emissions and saving people money,” says Mr West.

Northpower Network Engineering Manager (and EV owner) Russell Watson says the uptake of EVs in Northland has been a pleasant surprise.

“Having fast chargers in the region will increase the prevalence of them in the North and it will also bring more EV owners into the region. Until this ChargeNet station was constructed, coming to Northland was in the ‘too-hard’ basket for EV owners because they didn’t have the ability to charge quickly and move on,” says Mr Watson.

“In reality, there are charging options all around the North – at B and Bs, camp sites and at every home and business. What we are trying to do is make owning and using EVs simple and convenient and that is why Northpower has put in a number of chargers already. We were hoping for fast uptake and that has happened.”

#The Kaiwaka ChargeNet station will be launched from 7-10am this Friday, October 30. EV owners are invited to get their RFID tags so they can use the station immediately. 

See the attached ‘Plug Share‘ link for more information about the public and residential charging places around Northland.

Q & A’s 

A Life Cycle Analysis report commissioned by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has found that electric vehicles (EVs) are better for the New Zealand environment than petrol or diesel powered vehicles, across the lifecycle of the vehicle as well as in use.

REV-UP – 6 Day EV Trail Around Northland link.