New initiative helps EV drivers roam where they want to

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Words: Robert Barry   |   Photos RB
19 Jul 2018

Without the need for regulation, a collaboration between the New Zealand Government, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Chargenet, Vector, and other stakeholders has resulted in the EVRoam database initiative which was officially launched by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter in Auckland yesterday.

EVRoam is providing drivers of electric vehicles (EV) with real-time information about where they can find reliable charging stations right around the country.

It is a live database, collated by the NZ Transport Agency from real-time data fed directly from charging station operators such as Chargenet and Vector. EVRoam then shares this information out as widely as possible, to dozens of other websites and apps, so that drivers can receive reliable data on charging stations through all channels.

“This is about giving people the practical tools to confidently drive an electric vehicle right around the country and know they have the power to go the distance,” says Genter.

“EVRoam lets drivers know if a charging station is active and able to be used, which means they can confidently plan their journeys. It aims to give drivers confidence by identifying only reliable charging stations that meet government guidelines, such as having a consistent plug type and being monitored, she says.

Genter told the EVRoam launch attendees that her preference is to use an electric bicycle wherever possible for transportation, but for practical reasons during her pregnancy she has been driving a Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid vehicle as her ministerial vehicle.

EVRoam freely distributes the collated data to a wide range of existing websites, apps and maps, such as the Transport Agency’s website, the NZ Automobile Association website and TomTom.

“There are currently 117 active rapid charging stations nationwide, a further 19 under construction, and 42 planned sites. We now have electric vehicle rapid charging stations every 75km on almost 80 percent of the state highway network, which is a huge achievement,” says Genter.

“Initiatives like this are part of the Government’s commitment to making sustainable transport an easy option for all New Zealanders,” she says.

The NZ Transport Agency’s safety and environment director, Harry Wilson says EVRoam was created to provide reliable information about safe and reliable public charging locations around New Zealand.

“Charging infrastructure in New Zealand is no longer isolated in single purpose apps, but is now widely available for third parties to use as a ‘single source of truth’. This has been made possible by a collaborative effort across energy and automotive partners,” says Wilson.

“From a Transport Agency perspective, understanding where we have charging infrastructure helps us identify potential gaps, so we can continue to work together to ensure the transport system, and technology, responds to the needs of EV customers all over the country,” he says.

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NZ Autocar

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