New research from Drive Electric shows the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure has reached a pivotal point in New Zealand.

The not-for-profit organisation’s white paper Charging Ahead: New

Zealand’s EV Charging Infrastructure outlines current successes, challenges ahead, and where New Zealand sits on the international stage.

Drive Electric board member Eric Pellicer says the research reveals different groups are getting involved in building charging infrastructure.

Pellicer, who is also the commercial manager at Powerco, says many councils are developing charging stations in their areas for the benefit of the community.

“For example Wellington City Council has announced plans to convert up to 100 car parking spaces for the exclusive use of car-sharing and electric vehicles.”

The research shows companies like ChargeNet are working with lines companies, traditional retailers, car companies and district councils to develop more charging stations.

“Though we still have lots of work to do, New Zealand can be proud that we’re already achieving a world-class charging network,” says Steve West, chief executive of ChargeNet NZ.

ABB national sales manager Kumail Rashid, who contributed to the white paper, notes it is important to tackle some of the challenges on the horizon. Rashid says New Zealand can meet those challenges head on by learning from overseas countries and adapting those situations to suit our own conditions.

“We’ve learnt from different countries’ experiences that it’s not just about getting more chargers and more sites, but also more chargers per site,” says Rashid.

“It is about future proofing, because you don’t want to have to be waiting 15 minutes for someone else to charge.”

 He says making sure different types of EVs can use the same charger is another important issue that has to be addressed.

Pellicer hopes the white paper will have an influence in several different areas.

“We hope it will get some discussion going amongst those interested in the topic, but it will also be used to influence those who make policy decisions.”

The white paper, which was sponsored by ChargeNet and ABB, includes research put together from round table discussions held by Drive Electric’s board and extended to include member input.

The organisation will release more white papers about issues involving EVs in the coming months, Pellicer says.

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