Unison Launches Public Electric Car Charging Station in Rotorua’s Central City

September 05, 2016 09:50 AM
Westpac charging up the company’s EV at Unison’s Power Park. They made the journey from Auckland to Rotorua and back only having to use 1 litre of petrol in their BMW i3 with petrol range extender.

This week sees the launch of Unison’s public fast-charging station for electric vehicles (EVs) in Rotorua’s central city – the first of its kind for the region.

The ‘Unison Power Park’ on Haupapa Street has been initiated with the support of Rotorua Lakes Council. 

Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland said Unison’s focus was on supporting customers with their energy choices, in line with the Government’s recent package to promote electric vehicle uptake.

"We see ourselves playing a role in supporting new technologies by researching and providing infrastructure solutions, such as this electric vehicle charging station, to facilitate our customers’ energy choices now and into the future.”

The initiative was being well supported by the council which had allocated a site for the charging station, in the Haupapa Street carpark opposite the library building.

Mr Sutherland said Unison was working to have public fast charging stations across its service regions of Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and Taupo.

"Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly affordable, with improvements in battery technology continuing to extend the driving range – over 400km in some vehicle models.  At less than a third of the cost to run, all these factors make electric vehicles an appealing option for the every-day commuter, and those needing to get around locally. 

“By continuing to work with partners like local councils, industry partners, and other charging station providers, the options for public electric vehicle charging will continue to grow both locally and nationwide, supporting customers to choose this environmentally friendly technology of the future."

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recently endorsed a report by Concept Consulting which stated for consumers wishing to ‘spend money on new technologies to deliver environmental benefits, by far the biggest emissions saving can be achieved from investing in EVs’.

Unison’s electric vehicle charging station would be free to use until 1 February 2017, and 40c/minute thereafter, so a typical charge for 20 minutes will cost $8.00.

Those interested in learning more about electric vehicles or Unison’s Power Park charging stations can visit its website at www.unison.co.nz/electric-vehicle-charging.