NZ’s first fast-charge EV station opens


New Zealand’s Minister for the Environment Amy Adams has officially launched the country’s first fast-charge station for electric vehicles (EVs), with no fuelling costs in sight.

Whangarei, the country’s northernmost city, is playing host to the stations, where a motorist can charge 80 per cent of their battery in only 30 minutes.

For the foreseeable future, the charger is being offered for free – a marked improvement on the eight-or more hours it usually takes to fully charge an EV battery.

The Wairua Hydro Power Station at Titoki hydraulically powers the charger, a system developed by NZ company Northpower.

Northpower has completed a study, which proved its electricity network can comfortably handle tens of thousands of EVs charging overnight. In fact, the study suggested EVs would make the network more efficient, which could reduce network charges in time.

The predicted running costs of EVs are markedly cheaper than vehicles running on gas or diesel; 75 per cent less at $2 a day of 50km to 100km of mileages, as opposed to $8 a day, on average.

Northpower network generation manager Graham Dawson said New Zealanders in close proximity to cities like Whangarei will benefit from adopting EV technology.

“Being about to do 100km round trips before the need to re-charge means people can charge-up overnight at home. It’s the way of the future,” he said.

“Historically, the cost of EVs has prevented widespread adoption, but the importation of low cost, low mileage, used EVs from Japan have drastically changed the situation and has given Northpower the confidence to launch this initiative.

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