06 Mar 2023
Bulls can now add “charge-a-bull” to its list of punny monikers with the launch of a new hyper-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging station in the town that provides convenience, high charging speeds and a comfortable charging experience.
The installation expands ChargeNet’s existing charging offering in Bulls, tripling the number of charge points to meet increasing consumer demand. Bulls has hosted a 50kW charging station since October 2019, serving more than 2,000 users during its lifetime.
Located at Te Matapihi Bulls Community Centre and supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), the new site is part of ChargeNet’s continued infrastructure growth plans across New Zealand. The site provides charging for up to 3 vehicles at a time, including a 300kW charger and a 50kW charger. The 300kW charger is the first hyper-rapid charger to be installed in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.
The new EV charging site is one of the first ten ChargeNet’s hyper-rapid charging sites and joins ChargeNet’s already established network of hyper-rapid sites located in Kaiwaka in Northland, Bombay south of Auckland, Taupō, and Rotorua, as well as an additional 260 rapid DC charge points across the country.
ChargeNet CEO Danusia Wypych says the world-class technology was installed with the Rangitikei District Council's support, demonstrating the region’s commitment to low-carbon transport and the demand for charging infrastructure. In the first 24 hours of operation, the new 300kW unit delivered over 250% more power than its smaller 50kW cousin had delivered the previous day.
She said the charging site links the region to the growing network across the central North Island and is a critical site for travellers along State Highway 1 and reduces charging times, allows more drivers to charge and gets them back on the road sooner.
“In December 2022, we saw a 107% year-on-year increase in charging sessions in Manawatū-Whanganui region. The demand is there, both locally and for travellers passing through – we are making sure the right infrastructure is available to them,” says Danusia.
“We know that confidence in access to fast charging reduces range anxiety, removing one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption. The support of the Rangitikei District Council means there is no risk of the region being left behind in the EV transition.”
“The new facilities – which are across the road from the previous site – are conveniently positioned close to both State Highway 1 and State Highway 3 and will allow drivers to quickly add hundreds of kilometres of range in the time it takes to stop for coffee or do some quick shopping,” she says.
“EV drivers tend to stop longer than for other fuels, and this will see more travellers taking some time to explore the hidden gems and attractions of Bulls. In May of 2022, the Whanganui-Manawatu region had approximately 850 electric vehicles registered, and that number is only going to go up. Aotearoa’s EV (BEV & PHEV) fleet size increased by 79% in 2021 compared to 2022.
The rapid charging station was jointly funded by ChargeNet and EECA, with funding from Round 8 of the government’s Low Emission Transport Fund (LETF), which is administered by EECA.
EECA Group Manager Transport Richard Briggs says he’s happy to see a 300kW charger installed in such a high-traffic area.
“We’re focused on continuing to grow the public EV charging network to keep pace with the growing number of EVs on the roads. I hope this charger won’t just benefit EV drivers, but also the local community as drivers stop to recharge, and spend money, rather than passing right through.”
ChargeNet is working with Rangitikei District Council to ensure the charging site appropriately reflects the Rangitikei region. The site will feature artwork by local artist Delwyn Hakaria of Ngāti Parewahawaha and Ngāti Kauwhata lineage. The artwork is expected to be installed on the charger in time for the opening event.
Rangitīkei mayor Andy Watson says Rangitikei District Council, together with retailers in Bulls welcome ChargeNet’s decision to place hyper-rapid charging facilities at the new Te Matapihi Centre in Bulls.
“Bulls was always going to be the logical place for EV charging, being two hours north of Wellington and two hours south of Taupō. With the environmental advent of EV vehicles rapidly gaining traction, the limitation has often been the lack of charging facilities throughout the country. The positioning of chargers at Te Matapihi within the CBD of Bulls enables people to stop for something to eat, hopefully for something to buy from our retail outlets and to be able to spend a few minutes at places like the Bulls Museum directly over the road, which is a fantastic facility. These chargers will be, I’m sure, the first of many more to be located at Bulls. I’m sure the travelling public will be incredibly pleased to see this result.”
ChargeNet and the Rangitikei District Council will host a public opening for the site on Tuesday, 28 February 2023, with more details available here https://fb.me/e/6jf6ODDct.
Images available to media (note: these images are not of the Bulls site).
ChargeNet NZ is committed to providing and maintaining a world-class EV charging network, to keep Aotearoa New Zealand charging into the future, and to supporting its transition to a net zero emissions economy. It operates New Zealand’s largest nationwide EV charging network, and is the leading EV hardware distributor for rapid and hyper-rapid charging for commercial organisations. ChargeNet has built up a network of over 280 strategically positioned rapid DC charge points.
Using cutting-edge hardware technology that is rigorously tested to be safe and reliable, and combined with their cloud-based management software, ChargeNet delivers real time telemetry and fault resolution, resulting in a first-rate customer experience. It has industry-leading experience in working with central and local government on funding, reporting and site agreements.
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