ChargeNet says draft national EV charging strategy a “step in the right direction” as charging infrastructure matures

ChargeNet, Aotearoa New Zealand’s nationwide EV charging network says the Government’s draft long-term electric vehicle charging strategy will help to future-proof the country for an electric transport future and is “a step in the right direction.” The company supports coordinated efforts to strengthen and diversify EV charging infrastructure in New Zealand.

The draft strategy, released for consultation today, includes a range of initiatives, including targets to provide journey charging hubs every 150 – 200 kilometres on main highways, a public charger for every 20-40 EVs in urban areas, and public charging at community facilities for all settlements with 2,000 or more people.

ChargeNet CEO, Danusia Wypych says the country’s only end-to-end network is ready to continue investing in public infrastructure to support communities and drivers to adopt EVs.

“ChargeNet is continuing to invest in new sites across the country, as well as strengthen our existing sites to accommodate more EVs, but as a whole New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world in our delivery of charging infrastructure,” she says.

“We have been investing heavily in our network for seven years, and we are now starting to see some sites that are commercially viable in their own right. The scale of investment required across New Zealand means the EV charging strategy must be supported by the industry with focused financial commitment from Government to see our adoption of EVs, and carbon reduction continue at pace.”

Wypych says that ChargeNet is expecting to see a million EV charging sessions occur at its sites over next 12 months, so it is critical that a strong investment pathway is maintained to support EV drivers. With the increased registration of EVs and increasing we are seeing some site double the amount of electricity they are delivering.

“With a need for charging sites that can accommodate more EVs, as well as an increase in the number of locations, we anticipate across the industry over $400 million of investment could be required for EV charging infrastructure over the next five years. In some communities, essential investments will not be fully commercial at this time for the location or scale that makes sense for the long term, and we look forward to seeing a well considered funding strategy to complement the draft strategy.

“The time to commit to infrastructure is now. If we truly want to achieve our national ambition of a net zero emissions economy, we must continue to incentivise the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, strong public charging infrastructure, off-peak electricity use, and create access for all households,” she says.

“The key to getting people to transition to electric vehicles is user experience keeping things, fast and simple will reinforce the positive experience.”

“We support the Government’s proposal to provide journey charging hubs on main highways and are already working towards this as we grow our network. There is a real opportunity to integrate these into towns and communities that can provide amenities and services to drivers.

“Overseas experience suggests charging hubs can end up isolated, and we’re fortunate in New Zealand to have so many community locations that can serve both local EV uptake, and those drivers travelling throughout the country. The Government strategy presents a unique opportunity to create meaningful connections between these communities and the travelling public.”

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