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Press release

18th May 2023

Drive Electric welcomes the announcement in the Budget today that $120m will be invested to enable the roll-out of public charging infrastructure in New Zealand in partnership with the private sector.

The adoption of EVs in New Zealand has accelerated in the past two years. In 2022, EVs comprised almost 11% of sales of the light vehicle market (new and used), which is more than double the figure in 2021. By 2030, the Climate Change Commission estimates that 67% of vehicles coming into New Zealand will be electric

Mark Gilbert, Drive Electric Chair says, “With the uptake of EVs exceeding expectations, New Zealand needs a robust national network of charging sites to underpin this demand. The International Energy Agency’s analysis shows that New Zealand’s public charging infrastructure is well behind that of comparative countries.

“Today’s announcement is significant because it will enable major charging providers to work alongside the Government to accelerate the roll-out of public charging infrastructure for all New Zealanders.

“Some sites for public chargers are not currently economically viable as demand for charging in certain areas remains low, but chargers are needed to enable greater EV uptake by Kiwi families.

“Additionally, the real costs associated with connecting to the electricity network can make it difficult for investment in charging sites to stack up. In some cases, it can take close to a decade for a large charging site to pay for itself, depending on what it costs to install and connect to the electricity network.”

“The good news is that we have a range of competitors who are already installing a range of charging stations including ChargeNet, Tesla, Meridian, Jolt, Z Energy, and BP, and have plans to further rollout their charging networks. We expect this investment by the Government will help unlock the deployment of private capital and accelerate the investment pace.

“It’s worth noting that government investment won’t be necessary at many public charging sites as the economics for investment already stack up. This new funding needs to be well targeted to ensure charging sites are installed where demand is low today, but forecast to grow, or where it is not yet economic to invest. This is very important for equity, access, and confidence in the charging system.

“In addition to today’s funding announcement, the Government has an essential role to play in enabling the private sector to deliver private and public charging, by ensuring regulatory settings are fit-for-purpose and other barriers are addressed. Drive Electric members are working with relevant agencies on the development of the National EV Charging Strategy to ensure the delivery of a charging ecosystem in New Zealand.

“Ultimately, electrifying New Zealand’s transport system will help to decrease transport costs for families, reduce emissions, and decrease air pollution. In the future many New Zealanders will own, share, and hire EVs, so let’s get on and do what’s needed to create a robust charging network to underpin the transition to a clean transport system.”

About Drive Electric:

Drive Electric is a not-for-profit advocacy organisation supporting the uptake and mainstreaming of e-mobility in New Zealand as part of the effort to decarbonise transport.


About Drive Electric:

Drive Electric represents a member base comprising new car OEMs, used car importers and distributors, infrastructure organisations (electricity generators, distributors and retailers, electric vehicle service equipment suppliers), e-bike/scooters, heavy vehicle importers, finance, fleet leasing and insurance companies, along with electric vehicle users. We have more than 70 members from the sector.



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