Electric vehicle charging stations a step closer

Published on 07 August 2018

Electric vehicle charging station.

A network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles came a step closer to reality today as the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) confirmed funding for the project.

Minister of Energy and Resources the Hon Dr Megan Woods announced the decision, which sees EECA contributing $245,000.

The project is a trans-regional partnership comprising Horowhenua District Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, Electra Ltd and ChargeNet NZ. It will see nine fast-charging stations installed in five towns in Horowhenua and Kāpiti, including two at Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton and two at the railway car park in Shannon.

ChargeNet NZ Chief Executive Officer Steve West welcomed the announcement.

"The collaborative partnership between Horowhenua District Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, Electra Ltd, ChargeNet NZ, and EECA is a great example of a public-private partnership with a shared goal of encouraging faster electric vehicle uptake to reduce our carbon emissions and importee fossil fuel bills," he said.

"This announcement is a big win not only for electric vehicle drivers in the Horowhenua and Kāpiti Coast districts, but for New Zealand as a whole – helping to fill in the gaps of a nationwide network of charging infrastructure that'll reduce the barriers to electric vehicle adoption." 

Horowhenua District Council’s Legal Counsel, Sam Wood, said Council would provide the land and $40,000 towards the $200,000 cost of the four charging stations to be located in Horowhenua.

“Having charging stations in Foxton and Shannon will reduce ‘range anxiety’ for electric vehicle drivers and encourage them to stop and contribute to the local economy,” he said.

“Levin already has an electric vehicle charging station at New World supermarket, so installing them in Foxton and Shannon makes sense to fill in the gaps in our district’s electric vehicle infrastructure.”

Mr Wood said electric vehicle infrastructure would contribute towards the community outcomes of ‘a stunning environment’ and ‘enabling infrastructure’ identified in Council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2038.

“Electric vehicles produce no exhaust and are powered by an electrical network that is 80 per cent renewable energy.

“What’s more, electric vehicle uptake is increasing, with the number doubling every year in New Zealand and NZTA aiming to have 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2021. There is potential for charging stations to provide a revenue stream in the future.”

Council approved the project at a meeting in April this year, following a recommendation by the Finance, Audit & Risk Subcommittee.

The charging stations are expected to be installed by the end of the 2018/19 financial year.