Kiwi electric vehicle owners will soon have to pay to charge their cars with Meridian Energy at its public charging stations.
The energy company has been providing free charging for the past three years through its Zero network which has since grown to become New Zealand’s second biggest.
However, that’s set to change from September 27 as its users will have to pay 50c per kWh to charge their EVs.
“The move to payment for charging is necessary to make the network commercially viable and support future investment in the faster chargers needed to support more New Zealanders to go electric,” says Meridian Energy’s Head of Energy Innovation, Ryan Kuggeleijn.
“Even with paid public charging, the cost of running an EV is still much cheaper than petrol and diesel.”
With EV ownership on the rise, it was only a matter of time before costs started to hit home for users of Meridian Energy’s free chargers.
The Labour-led Government currently doesn’t impose road user charges for EV owners after it extended an exemption on them until March 2024.
However, opposing party National made it clear that it will begin making EV owners pay RUCs based on the number of kilometres traveled if it gets elected in October.
National also said it would scrap the Clean Car Discount scheme which offers rebates for low emissions vehicles like EVs, but charges a fee to those who purchase a high-emitting vehicle like a double-cab ute.