New charging stations for electric vehicles have been opened as part of International Drive Electric Week.

photo courtesy-  Mr Braden Fastier

Mr  Simon Bridges has  opened new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Nelson, Thames and Auckland as part of International Drive Electric Week.

It was a small ceremony, but for those present at the opening of the region’s first fast charging station at Richmond, the wheels appear to be turning on an electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

West Coast-Tasman List MP Maureen Pugh, Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith, Network Tasman chairman John McCliskie and Transport ...

Typically the devices can charge an EV’s battery fully in 20 minutes, and re-charge about 11 vehicles per day.

The unit can be used free of charge as part of the initial trial period and is located in the carpark at the back of the Richmond Public Library.

Further sites are planned for Nelson City and Takaka by the end of the year.

Network Tasman Chair John McCliskie said the company had taken the opportunity to invest in the new technology based on an anticipated global change to motoring trends. eletric-car

The Government unveiled an “ambitious” package in May to encourage EV use through the lifting of road user charges, a contestable fund for EV-based initiatives and advertising.

The Government has a goal of having 64,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2020.

Also attending the opening were Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne and West Coast-Tasman List MP Maureen Pugh as well as Nelson MP and longtime electric car owner Nick Smith.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says New Zealand started with one charging station, in Northland, in May 2014

Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges officially opened the first of Network Tasman’s ABB Terra 53 units on Thursday, declaring that “the future is here right now”.

The international event runs until 18 September and is the biggest ever celebration of EVs in New Zealand, increasing from just a few events in 2015 to more than 50 events around the country this year.

“Public charging infrastructure has an important role to help ease range anxiety and facilitate longer distance travel,” Mr Bridges.

“While the cheapest and easiest way to charge an electric vehicle (EV) is overnight at home, having public charging infrastructure enables New Zealanders to use EVs for longer distance travelling.

“Just over two years later we have more than 30 public fast charging stations and that number is growing by the week,” he said.

“More than 100 other charging stations have also opened up around the country.”

Mr Bridges says the cheapest and easiest way to charge an electric vehicle is overnight at home, but having public charging stations means EVs can be used for longer distances.

The Government has a target of 64,000 EVs on the roads by 2021

“New Zealand started with one public fast charging station, in Northland, in May 2014.  Just over two years later we have more than 30 public fast charging stations and that number is growing by the week. More than 100 other charging stations have also opened up around the country.”

The new fast charger in Thames is a first for the Thames/Coromandel area.

“Thames provides an important link between Auckland and Tauranga and the Coromandel.  As a popular tourist route, I hope the presence of a fast charger also allows visitors to our country to consider an EV for their rental vehicle.

“The new charging station at Lynn Mall in West Auckland fills a gap in the city’s charging infrastructure. Installing charging stations at destinations such as shopping malls makes it easy for EV owners to top up their car while running their errands.”

Mr Bridges also opened Network Tasman’s fast charger at the Richmond Library in Nelson, the first of several planned by the company over the next six months.

“We’ve set a target to get 64,000 EVs on New Zealand roads by 2021 but it will be a team effort.  Businesses, government, local government and member organisations all have a role to play in reaching this target.

“I have asked my agencies to support councils and the private sector in developing public charging infrastructure by providing clear guidance and information around the infrastructure, and clarifying the regulatory framework.”

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