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NZ push for “renewables highway” for EVs

EV charging stations. Push for a network in NZ

EV charging stations. Push for a network in NZ

A NZ industry group is pushing for a “Renewables Highway” the length and breadth of the country to provide charging infrastructure and support the uptake of electric vehicles.

The Electricity Networks Association has announced the “Renewables Highway” initiative, which would make NZ one of the first countries in the world to have a complete network of charging locations for EVs.

Chief Executive Graeme Peters said the ENA Board was excited about the potential of a “Renewables Highway’, providing charging infrastructure to support the uptake of plug-in electronic vehicles (EV) in New Zealand.

“There’s now a lot of recognition that New Zealand is “EV-Ready,’ said Graeme Peters, chief executive of ENA.

“We have an electricity supply that’s 80 percent renewable due to our abundance of hydro, geothermal and wind generation – accessing fuel that’s clean and home grown and at the equivalent of 30 cents per litre makes sense. New Zealand also has a high proportion of off-street parking, meaning most cars can be charged at home or at work, even from a standard three-pin plug.”

ENA has formed a working group with other partners Contact Energy, Drive Electric and Mighty River Power to undertake a scoping study, which is expected to be completed by the end of July.

“The “Renewables Highway’ would potentially see a network of charging locations at key stopping points and tourism locations along State Highway 1, expanding to regional routes over time,” said Peters.

“This backbone could then encourage further charging infrastructure by other businesses including airports, retailers, supermarkets, tourist destinations and other places where people park their vehicles.

“Though there is a relatively small number of EVs in New Zealand currently, the technology is advancing quickly and we expect demand will pick up strongly as the benefits of EVs become evident and behaviours change.”

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