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New Electric Charging Partnership

ChargeNet New Zealand and Aurora Energy are partnering together to extend a charging network for electric vehicles in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown lakes.

Aurora Energy is New Zealand’s seventh largest electricity network by customer connections, supplying electricity to more than 88,000 homes, farms and businesses in Dunedin, Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.

ChargeNet NZ is the only organisation installing a nationwide network of rapid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. It is also the largest privately owned and operated DC fast charger network in the Southern Hemisphere. The partnership will mean faster growth in the Southern region.

“The Otago region is one of the most active regions in the country in terms of embracing electric vehicles, and we are keen to support electric vehicle owners through this partnership with Aurora Energy,” said Nick Smith, Chief Operating Officer of ChargeNet NZ.

The agreement between the two organisations means an upgrade to the existing charger in Filleul St, Dunedin, to a Tritium charger supplied by ChargeNet. Other sites around the Dunedin CBD are also being considered for new installations.

“Extending the Dunedin and surrounding offerings is an important step in bolstering our ever-growing nationwide network of fast chargers and will be a game changer for both local and visiting electric vehicle owners.”

“The sites will complement the existing infrastructure in the Aurora Energy network, including Wanaka and Alexandra, and other installations underway in Queenstown and Roxburgh.”

“With most electric vehicles taking between six to eight hours to charge via a domestic power point, one of the challenges has been the ability to charge them when away from home, but the fast charge network which we are putting in place will allow electric vehicle owners to charge a vehicle in less than 25 minutes,” he says.

Aurora Energy is also delighted in the partnership as it will allow vehicle owners in Dunedin and wider Otago region greater confidence to make the move to driving electric said Grady Cameron, Chief Executive of Aurora Energy.

“We expect the new partnership will support further electric vehicle uptake across our network area and encourage even more people to make the switch to electric vehicles.

“Since Aurora Energy installed the South Island’s first public fast charging station in February 2016, the number of electric vehicles in Otago has increased from 50 to 225. Nationwide, the growth in electric vehicles has been exponential with 5,400 now registered in New Zealand, up from just 500 three years ago.

“Electric vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for New Zealand drivers and are cheaper, cleaner and quieter to run than traditional petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles,” added Mr Cameron.

There are 57 chargers connected to ChargeNet’s network nationwide, at 30 November 2017 and they aim to have over 105 stations by the end of 2018.

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Charger technology to increase in NZ

In support of the New Zealand government’s plans to transform NZ from fossil-fuel dependent to locally-generated renewable electricity, Chargemaster has partnered with Dutch-based company Heliox and Austrian-based Keba to enable heavy-vehicle charging.

Heliox is an established European market leader, with more than 85 per cent of the total electric bus charging market. Keba is a proven AC charging solution for light vehicles, with more than 35,000 chargers sold globally.

While NZ is showing leadership in our region with the recent announcement by Tranzit Coachlines of the new electric buses to be rolled out in Wellington mid 2018, the technology is proven in Europe with more than 1,300 electric buses delivered or on order in 25 European cities .

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. In China in 2015 there were more than 170,000 electric buses in operation. In Shenzhen City alone there were 4,887 purely electric buses in operation. By the end of 2017, all of the city’s buses will be fully electrified, in accordance with municipal government requirements, reaching a total of 16,493 E-buses.

Asia-Pacific is the electric bus manufacturing leader. While the European market is one of the leading regions for electric bus research and development (R&D) – including vehicle technology – the Asia-pacific region is home to some of the biggest producers of both buses and batteries.

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BMW expands NZ i network

BMW’s i3 is the top-selling new EV car of 2016

BMW Group New Zealand has announced an extension to the existing inetwork. Winger BMW in Wellington and Christchurch BMW will become official i sales dealers from July 1. The two dealerships join authorised i dealer Auckland City BMW.

The BMW i is a full-package electric support service which provides private and public charging stations to BMW EV drivers, advanced navigation software to locate chargers and map out efficient driving routes, and electric aftercare maintenance and repair.

The remaining dealer network are being upgraded to include BMW i service, which will enable BMW to support customers across New Zealand.

“This commitment from our dealer network further provides customers with even more access to a wide range of electric vehicles, charging and dealer support in all parts of the country,” said commented BMW Group New Zealand managing director, Florian Renndorfer.

This follows BMW’s collaboration with ChargeNet NZ, announced last year, to help establish New Zealand’s electric highway of DC fast chargers that will facilitate EV driving along the length of the country. Charging at a BMW ChargeNow station takes around 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent battery capacity.

BMW’s electric offering, the i3, was the top-selling new EV car in the country for 2016, with 144 units sold.

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ChargeNet to upgrade chargers

EV charging stations supplied by ChargeNet NZ will be upgraded from Type1 CCS charging to the new Type 2 CCS charging plug.

This follows an agreement between BMW New Zealand and ChargeNet to install 100 rapid chargers across the country to create an electric highway.

ChargeNet NZ will begin modifying existing infrastructure to the new plug on a rolling basis. The upgrade will begin in mid-April for the South Island, and May for the North Island.

The plug upgrade will future-proof New Zealand-new BMW EVs, which will carry the Type 2 CCS plug. Affected BMW i3 customers whose vehicles have a Type 1 CCS plug will be contacted directly by BMW New Zealand as part of a vehicle upgrade programme.

The Type 2 or IEC 62196 charging standard is the standard for electric vehicle infrastructure in Europe. The plug and supersedes the existing ‘Type 1’ SAE J1772 plug type that is currently in use in New Zealand.

“Upgrading to the Type 2 CCS plug is a good move,” said Steve West, CEO of ChargeNet NZ. “Our company vision is, and has always been, to encourage the uptake of as many electric vehicles as possible”.

BMW Group New Zealand managing director Florian Renndorfer is in favour of the upgrade. “The change to Type 2 CCS plugs across the ChargeNow electric highway is a positive step, improving our country’s infrastructure and allowing even faster charging when travelling the length of New Zealand in electric vehicles,” he said.

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