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NZTA to roll out 41 EVs

The New Zealand Transport Agency is looking to add 41 electric vehicles, EVs to its current fleet and are seeking more information regarding the implementation of EV infrastructure.

In a request for information notice, the NZTA is ideally looking for a fleet charging solution that would “enable staff to confidently move to and from NZTA locations in fully electric vehicles.” The request also covers the need for information about providing, installing, operating and maintaining charging stations. 

The New Zealand Transport Agency’s decision to look at boosting its electric vehicle fleet and invest in charging infrastructure has been welcomed by Drive Electric.

Drive Electric Chairman, Mark Gilbert

Drive Electric, a not-for-profit group, which promotes the benefits of EV technology in New Zealand, congratulates NZTA on the move.

“NZTA’s proposal to add 41 EVs to its fleet in 2018 shows it is leading from the front in adopting technology that will eventually dominate the automotive sector in just a few years,” Drive Electric chairman Mark Gilbert says.

“With the Labour-New Zealand First government looking to the public sector to adopt EV technology as part of its coalition agreement, NZTA is getting on the wave early.”

Having the agency which is responsible for maintenance of New Zealand’s highways support EVs in this manner has the potential to drive up public interest, Gilbert says.

NZTA’s intention to invest in its own charging infrastructure to support the EV fleet is also a positive sign, Gilbert says.

“Looking into this type of investment shows the organisation is serious about using EVs in the long-term and wants to make it easy for staff to drive the vehicles. It is a signal we hope other government agencies will pick up on.”

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Charging stations increase

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

“Many councils are developing charging stations in their areas for the benefit of the community,” Eric Pellicer, who is the commercial manager at Powerco and drive electric board member says.

“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 is published in the organisation’s whitepaper, Charging Ahead: New Zealand’s EV Charging Infrastructure states and was sponsored by ChargeNet and ABB. It includes research put together from round table discussions held by Drive Electric’s board and members.

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.”

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

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

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