According to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), there is a group of public electric vehicle charging stations every 75km along most of the national highway network.
But, as the electric vehicle advocacy group noted earlier this month, that’s not enough. As part of its plans to increase the quantity and quality of public EV chargers, the group is taking consultations from the public on which areas need the most future development.
“There are a little over 33,000 EVs on the roads now, but that number is likely to increase rapidly over the next five to 10 years. The network needs to be futureproof, and it needs to inspire confidence in people who may be considering buying an EV,” says EECA CEO Andrew Caseley.
So far, EECA has co-funded over 700 public chargers (including more than 300 DC fast chargers). This was mostly accomplished thanks to the government’s Low Emissions Transport Fund. It will continue to apply for the fund, which will increase in size to $25million by its 2023-’24 round.
“That co-investment [from the Low Emissions Transport Fund] helped ensure we have public chargers every 75km along most of the national highway network, but there are still some gaps, and some areas where density will be more important than distance,” Caseley Adds.
“New Zealand currently has a high number of public chargers per EV but this will rapidly change and the map has already enabled us to identify areas where there are existing gaps, and our consumer research has allowed us to gain insights into the use of public EV charging.”
EECA anticipates that the demand for public charger facilities is only going up, and the quality of the available chargers is just as important as their availability.
In its Electric Vehicle Charging Survey report issued last month, it found that 41 per cent of EV-owning respondents said that lengthy waiting times are the biggest reason for them not using public charging stations. Over 25 per cent said cost held them back, and over 20 per cent said inconvenient locations turned them off.
The report noted that most who use public charging stations are there charging their vehicles for between 20 and 39 minutes, with 83 per cent of respondents indicating that their public charging sessions rarely stray over 40 minutes.