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The addition of at least two new public electric vehicle charging stations in North Canterbury will boost local business, according to those involved in their implementation.
Hamish Dobbie, CEO of Hurunui District Council (HDC), confirmed that the two new stations are earmarked for Cheviot and on SH7 between the Hanmer Springs turnoff and Springs Junction. HDC facilitates the supply of land for the stations whilst the stations are constructed and installed by ChargeNet which operates a nationwide network of electric charging stations for public use.
Hamish says that whilst the creation of charging stations throughout the country is to benefit all electric vehicle drivers, the ones located within the Hurunui District should bring some economic benefit to the region.
“Overall there’s a move to non-carbon powered vehicles and in order to support that there needs to be a network of places that people can charge their vehicles up the backbone of the country. As a district we have a big roading network, so it’s our responsibility to support that. We also see an economic advantage in that if people are stopping they might buy something or see something that takes their eye.
“Electric vehicle drivers are planners; they plan where they’re going to stop so they can coincide charging their vehicle with a break.”
Mark Appleman, General Manager – Network of MainPower, which has been working with ChargeNet to connect chargers to their electricity distribution network, says that MainPower has an important role to play in getting the region ready for widespread EV adoption.
“MainPower is a key service provider, it’s our job to provide a safe, reliable supply of electricity to North Canterbury. With the number of electric vehicles on the rise, MainPower need to ensure that our network is capable of handling the demands of more electric vehicles in the region.”
“Getting the right infrastructure in place early is essential. Infrastructure is not only the chargers themselves, but also an electricity network that can support potentially thousands of EVs all plugged in and charging at the same time. We’re working now to make sure our network can meet the expectations of our customers in the future.”
North Canterbury already has two public stations at Amberley and Culverden. According to station supplier ChargeNet there are a total of 75 active rapid DC charging stations throughout New Zealand currently as well as one standalone fast AC charger. The company aims to have 105 public stations open nationwide by 2019.
“MainPower is expecting that charging station numbers and locations will continue to grow throughout North Canterbury. This will possibly include the installation of remote charging stations that are located rurally on state highways and main roads,” said Mark.
There are also a number of private charging stations around the country, owned and operated by businesses and located on their own premises. These include The Warehouse Rangiora and MainPower New Zealand’s head office, also in Rangiora.
According to the Ministry of Transport there were just over 8,000 electric vehicles registered in New Zealand in May 2018, up from 3,654 at the same time last year.