News | 14 July 2020
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More EV chargers driving the switch to electric

Wellington City Council is heading in the right direction in reducing transport emissions, with 28 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations now installed across the capital’s suburbs.

Image of EV car owner using charger on Austin Street

The installations around the city is part of a two-year pilot between Wellington City Council, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and ChargeNet NZ, to assess the viability for slow charging in the residential streets of Wellington.

Councillor Tamatha Paul, the Climate Change Portfolio Lead, says the EV chargers are a key part of the programme to reduce Wellington’s carbon emissions by half over the next ten years.

“Vehicle travel makes up 35 percent of Wellington’s gross emissions. Electric vehicles emit 80 percent less carbon dioxide than equivalent fuel powered cars,” says Councillor Paul.

The success of the pilot programme will depend on sufficient usage of the charging stations now running, which will mean more installations in the future.

“If you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle, replacing fuel-powered cars with electric ones will go a long way towards reducing our emissions as a city, and is a practical thing people can do to protect our environment.”

Areas with few on-street parking spaces have been prioritised in the programme to encourage residents to replace their fuel powered vehicles with electric.

Sustainability Manager Tom Pettit says: “EVs can be charged easily at home using a three pin plug, but for residents with no off-street parking, this isn’t so easy.”

Wellington City Council was the first to introduce the initiative in 2018, and has had good uptake in areas the chargers are installed, adds Tom.

“This project is based on an international model in world-leading EV friendly cities, and is just one component Council has in place to support the city’s contribution to reducing the impacts of climate change and reach our goal of a low carbon capital city.”

For these residents, not having access to a charger nearby can be a common barrier to making the switch.

Inner city resident Josh Wright recently bought his first EV following the installation of a charger on Austin Street, Mount Victoria.

“These chargers are a game changer for people like me who are keen to make the change, but who have no off-street parking,” says Josh.

How it works and EV etiquette:

-          Each EV charging unit can charge two cars at the same time and the adjacent parks will be reserved for electric vehicles only.

-          Chargers require a Type 2 cable and charge at 7.4 kW (about four times faster than a typical 3-pin domestic power socket). Users will need to register with ChargeNet to open an account.

-          Users pay for the electricity they consume and will receive a text message encouraging them to move on when the charging is complete, to free up the space for others.

-          If you don’t live near a charger and have an off-street parking option, you’ll be able to charge your car using a standard three pin plug from your house or garage. It’s important your car is off the road when charging at home, as cables aren’t allowed to cross the footpath – it can be a dangerous tripping hazard to pedestrians.

To see locations of the chargers, check out this handy interactive map on our website.