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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's about using Unison's Power Park charging stations
How do I pay?

To celebrate the launch of Unison’s latest Power Park at Putorino, charging is currently free until 3 December 2018.  After that our powering-up price will be the same for all of our fast-chargers, 40c / kWh. So a typical charge will cost around $8.00. Please note, the cost to power up wil depend on the size of the battery and its start/end states of charge.

As an EV owner you will need to register to gain instant access to using the charger and you will be able to pay simply through a standard and secure payment system. You can register to use Power Park here: https://powerpark.unison.co.nz/.
Remember to read the terms and conditions too: http://www.unison.co.nz/tell-me-about/electricity/electric-vehicle-charging/unison-power-parks/terms-and-conditions

Who do I call if I have a problem?

Our charging station is very simple to use, but if you have any problems you can call us on 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476) and we'll help you out.

How long does it take to charge my car?

That depends on which charger you use and the make of your car, but on average you would use a standard charger for 1-3 hours; and our rapid charger for between 10-15 mins.

Are your chargers safe?

Yes, we have selected chargers that are established and have been used safely and efficiently in overseas markets. The chargers are specifically designed for public and outdoor use.

How do I use the charger?

Just like you use your charger at home. It’s pretty straightforward – there’s Start, Stop and Emergency Stop buttons and that’s about it.

What if the charger/cables are wet/it’s raining?

Our chargers are designed for use outdoors and are safe to use in the rain. Your vehicle will also be designed to charge safely even if the charger you plug-in is wet.

What happens if I drive off and I am still plugged in?

Your car will not start until it’s unplugged. This is a standard safety feature of all EVs.

Do I need to bring my own cable?

No, our chargers have cables which can be plugged into most EVs.  Fast chargers come with two DC options, CSS; commonly found on the American and European cars and CHAdeMO; commonly found with the Japanese makes of car.

What do I do if I see a damaged Unison charger?

We’d appreciate it if you could call us and let us know so we can get a crew out to repair it. Please call us on 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476).

Are your charging stations 24/7?

All our charging stations operate 24/7.

Do lots of chargers put a strain on your electricity network?

Not at the moment, but as more are installed – including at homes and businesses - they will place additional demands on our distribution network - so, ahead of the expected growth we are gathering data from our EV charging stations to give us insight into the effects on our network so that we are ready to manage it.

FAQ's about Unison's interest in electric vehicles and charging stations
Why is Unison interested in electric vehicles?

Unison is constantly looking to the future to understand our customers’ changing needs.  Electric vehicles (EV's) are a technology we have identified as having the potential to greatly impact the way our network operates.

In 2012, we purchased one of the first electric vehicles in New Zealand as part of our fleet, so we could better understand how vehicle charging will impact our network.  By understanding how our customers will use electricity to charge their cars, and the impacts vehicle charging may have on demand and power quality, we can ensure our network is ready to support our customers who choose electric vehicles.

Why has Unison installed a fast-charger station?

As the electricity infrastructure provider for Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and Taupo, we aim to support customer choice, particularly one that has positive benefits to our environment.

It’s a case of the chicken and the egg – which comes first? Charging stations, or electric vehicles – one needs the other to thrive.

The number of electric vehicles that make up our nation’s fleet are steadily growing, and predictions are that within ten years, a significant proportion of this total will be electric or hybrid vehicles.

By providing the first public charging station in Hawke’s Bay, Unison is supporting customer choice, and preparing our region for the transport system of the future.

Will you charge EV owners differently in the future?

To limit peak demand Unison already has pricing structures in place that incentivise off-peak use of electricity. 

Because electric vehicles are most likely to be plugged in overnight, customers can choose to install a separate metered supply to access Unison’s discounted ‘Night Only’ rate to charge their vehicles when network use is at its minimum, reducing demand at peak times (7-9pm).  

In the future, there are likely to be changes in price structures which will reward customers for charging their EVs outside of peak times so we avoid having to build extra network capacity because EV owners come home from work and charge their vehicles straight-away.  We’re not sure exactly what future pricing structures will look like but we will be working with regulators, other electricity industry stakeholders and consumer representative bodies to develop the best approach, as well as keeping an eye on what’s happening overseas.