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New rapid EV charging station on SH3 at Mokau

10 Dec 2021, 4:45 PM

The North Island’s rugged and beautiful West Coast has opened up to EV drivers this summer, with the recent installation of a new rapid charging station at Mokau on State Highway 3 by ChargeNet.

The 50kW rapid charging station was installed late last month and plugs a gap in Aotearoa New Zealand’s EV charging network between the two nearest 50kW rapid charging stations at New Plymouth and Te Kuiti. It is the result of inter-agency and business collaboration between Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, ChargeNet and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), with support from Waitomo District Council.

Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Environment and Sustainability Lisa Rossiter says this collaborative approach is key to building out the EV charging infrastructure network nationwide and creating a network that keeps EV drivers connected, wherever they travel.

"We believe it is important electric vehicle drivers feel confident to travel across Aotearoa New Zealand's state highways. In April 2017, we set a vision for nationwide coverage of fast charging stations every 75kms across our state highways. The installation at Mokau puts another piece of that puzzle in place.

"Transport makes up about half of Aotearoa New Zealand’s carbon emissions, with most of this coming from road transport. New technology, like electric vehicles, is opening up the range of transport choices that people can make. This creates better choices for New Zealanders and contributes to a low-carbon transport future for New Zealand," Ms Rossiter says.

ChargeNet Communications Manager Bailey Gorst says the Mokau charging station is another important link in their nationwide network of more than 250 rapid (25-50kW) and hyper-rapid (300kW) charging stations, and is delighted it’s now live and operational in time for summer.

"Mokau has been a critical gap in the network. The 50kW DC rapid charging station will make travel on State Highway 3 between Te Kuiti and New Plymouth a lot easier, especially for those with shorter-range EVs, when up to this point, it either wasn’t possible or may have required an overnight stop."

The rapid charging station was jointly funded by ChargeNet and EECA, with funding from round 7 of EECA’s Low Emission Transport Fund (LETF).

EECA Transport Portfolio Manager Richard Briggs says EECA is taking the lead in growing the charging network with companies like ChargeNet, and recently completed consultation on EV charging infrastructure to develop a roadmap for the future roll-out of the public EV charging network and to inform future Low Emissions Transport Fund (LETF) rounds.

"Continuing to fill the remaining few gaps in the network will be a priority for the LETF, and we look forward to many more collaborative projects like these, in order to give New Zealanders the confidence that an EV will meet their needs, so we can continue to decarbonise the transport sector."

The EV charging infrastructure roadmap is part of a cross-agency EV infrastructure plan being led by Ministry of Transport, with support from EECA, Waka Kotahi and Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment.