Network Tasman’s fast-chargers join ChargeNet NZ national linked system

Network Tasman’s three public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Nelson City, Richmond and Takaka will join the nationwide ChargeNet NZ network on 1 August 2018.

For the past two years use of the charging stations has been free while the company assessed demand, and supported early adoption of EV technology in the region. From 1 August Network Tasman will introduce a charge of 25c per kWh plus 25c per minute of charging time.  

“Introducing pricing for the fast-charging stations will cover the cost of the service and ensure that other providers can viably invest in further charging infrastructure,” says Network Tasman CEO Oliver Kearney.

“We have received positive feedback on the changes from EV users but with only a limited number of chargers currently available, in combination with these being free, customers have experienced significant congestion and wait times. The changes will ensure that the units are used as efficiently as possible.”

EV owners will be able to pay either through the phone app or by creating an account and purchasing an RFID fob via the website.

The ChargeNet NZ phone app and website displays the location, availability and operational status of chargers nationally, allowing EV users to plan their route and see the state of their vehicle charge in progress. Vehicle owners will be able to pop away while their vehicles are charging and be notified by text when the charging session is finished, or if there has been an interruption to the session.

EV ownership is high in the Nelson Tasman region; the number of EVs in the area has almost tripled in the last year and in terms of ownership levels per head of population, Nelson Tasman is second only to Auckland.

“The Tasman region is one of the most active regions in the country in terms of embracing electric vehicles, and we are keen to support electric vehicle owners through linking them in to our ever-expanding nationwide network of chargers,” said Nick Smith, Chief Operating Officer of ChargeNet NZ.

EV ownership seems likely to continue its rapid growth as a greater variety of car models become available, with increased battery capacity and range.

Network Tasman is taking a proactive approach by carrying out a study to gauge the impact of EV charging on peak network loads. The study will help inform the company’s future asset management planning for the region.