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First rapid charger for electric vehicles in South Island goes live

First rapid charger for electric vehicles in South Island goes live

Mayor Dave Cull congratulates Delta chief executive Grady Cameron at the rapid charger opening

The first public rapid charger for electric cars in the South Island was unveiled today in Dunedin by Mayor Dave Cull.

The rapid charger, installed by infrastructure specialist Delta, can replenish most electric vehicle batteries to 80 per cent capacity in under 30 minutes.

Mayor Dave Cull welcomed the opening of the rapid charger. "Electric vehicles have arrived. The Dunedin rapid charger will give electric vehicle drivers the freedom and range to visit and explore Dunedin. As Mayor, I am proud that Dunedin is the first city in the South Island to have an electric vehicle rapid charger and to be at the forefront of changing the country’s transport fleet to renewable electricity.

"I look forward to seeing more electric vehicles on Dunedin streets and the contribution they can make to reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The rapid charger is one more step towards our aspiration to be one of the world’s great small cities," said Mayor Cull.

Chief executive Grady Cameron says the rapid charger will encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Dunedin and Otago and contribute to a growing network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across New Zealand.

"As the local electricity infrastructure provider for Dunedin, we’re committed to enabling the greatest possible use of emissions-free, renewable energy for transport in the city. We’ve recently added an all-electric Nissan Leaf to our fleet. We’re looking forward to getting out and about to demonstrate what a great driving experience a 100% electric car provides with zero emissions and low running costs."

"The public electric vehicle rapid charging station is located in the Dunedin City Council’s Filleul Street car park on the corner of Filleul Street and Moray Place, behind the Town Hall. Electric vehicle owners will be able to charge for free for the first year of operation while a payment system is developed. Normal parking charges apply and the charging time is limited to 30 minutes.

"The rapid charging network is ever-expanding. The time is near when electric vehicle owners will be able to travel the length of the country with ready access to rapid charging facilities. Delta is one of several organisations with plans to contribute to the emerging network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across New Zealand."

Quick facts

  • The rapid charger unit provides 50-kilowatt DC and is compatible with all major makes of electric cars. There are two charging plugs, a CHAdeMO plug for Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Citroen and an SAE DC plug for BMW, Volkswagen. The Tesla Model S can be charged from the CHAdeMO outlet using an adapter cable.
  • New Zealand’s first fast charger was installed in Whangarei in May 2014 by Northpower. There are rapid chargers installed in Auckland, Hamilton and Kaiwaka, with plans announced for Christchurch and Wellington. ChargeNet is building a nationwide network of nearly 100 sites.
  • As the end of January 2016, New Zealand had 1,015 registered electric vehicles on the road, about double the number from a year ago.
  • Electric vehicles cost far less to operate than petrol and diesel vehicles. The electricity cost of charging an EV at home is equivalent to paying around 30 cents per litre compared to 174 cents per litre for 91 octane petrol. Maintenance costs are lower on an electric vehicle because there are far fewer moving parts than on a combustion engine – no more oil changes.
  • All major car manufacturers now offer an electric vehicle and new and used electric vehicles are now readily available in New Zealand. There are several models of electric vehicle available here, starting at around $20,000 for a used Nissan Leaf.
  • The average amount of driving per day in New Zealand is about 28.5 kilometres, comfortably within the range of a typical modern all-electric vehicle of 100-plus kilometres.
  • Delta is a member of Drive Electric, the organisation helping New Zealand realise the health, environmental and economic benefits from the accelerated and orderly uptake of plug-in electric vehicles and associated infrastructure. Delta is also a participant in the energy sector scoping study into developing an electric vehicle charging network across New Zealand.