New Zealand electric vehicle options
There are already about 69,000 EVs on NZ roads, and the numbers are growing quickly as we move to decarbonise our transport system, which contributes about 36% of NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions. With support from government rebates 20% of all new passenger car sales in 2022 were electric versus 8% in 2021.
These EV’s all need to be charged to keep them on the road. So, a key part of the government’s national climate strategy is to rapidly expand the public charging infrastructure for EV’s to encourage more people to buy one, and to reduce owners’ range anxiety. They want to have a ‘hub’ of chargers every 150-200kms on New Zealand’s main highways by 2028, and in urban areas with limited off-street parking to have one public charger available for every 20 to 40 EVs. To find an EV charging station near you, please visit EV charging (insert Plugshare link to EV charging locations http://www.plugshare.com/)
To achieve these goals Unison and our peers in Electricity Networks Aotearoa (ENA) are actively collaborating with installers like Chargenet to plan and efficiently rollout the public charging infrastructure needed across our regions. As an industry we’re working on greater standardisation of the process and costs of projects to support installers, so it is more viable for them to expand their network of chargers. We’re also talking to the government about changing industry regulations to help distributors to reduce the costs of installation projects.
While public charging projects are important, the bulk of EV charging (90%) will still be done at owners’ homes. Home charging is easy and convenient, but if uncontrolled could affect the availability of power to everyone on our network during peak periods. So, Unison uses pricing plans to encourage EV owners to charge their vehicles at off-peak periods and supports the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) efforts to regulate EV chargers installed at owners’ homes to ensure they are “smart” chargers and can be set up to respond to signals about demand or load on our network.