The ChargeNet NZ objective is simple, bold and ambitious. We envisage a network of fast (and slow) chargers installed the length and breadth of New Zealand, so that owning electric cars and commercial vehicles is as easy as owning a traditional car. Our contribution to this utopia are our rapid DC chargers, which we are installing not just in the main cities, but throughout the country.
We aim to make clean pollution-free driving a mainstream reality rather than an alternative option for a lucky few.
We would like this to happen as soon as possible, yesterday in fact, so please forgive our use of the cliche, “good things really do take time.” The reality is that without a total buy-in from other agencies such as: central and local government; car importers; power companies; etc, rolling out a comprehensive Charging Network is a slow process. Frustratingly slow, perhaps, for some of our EV pioneers and those toe-dipping wannabes.
On the whole, the EV community is proud of our phenomenal accomplishments to date, and it is only with continued community support that we can fulfil our promised network.
The ChargeNet map is continuously evolving and is always up-to-date.
While, acknowledging how disheartening progress appears to be at times for those who would like us to move faster, we aim to be open and transparent with both our goals and our obstacles. Looking at the realities we face, we are one company with limited physical resources and our vision therefore includes collaborating with the various other stakeholders to reach that goal of a comprehensive network across New Zealand.
It is fantastic when we get weekly requests from Kiwis requesting a fast charger in their town; at their office; or their favourite holiday spot. Regularly, we get enquiries from people interested in installing their very own fast charger. Our logic is that if a power company already has a rapid charging station in a particular area, then our short-term goal would not be to double up, but to reach out to areas that don’t currently have any fast charging facility. I will address the issue of how we choose a site in a follow-up blog.
We are opening premium Tritium Veefil stations regularly, developing new technologies and have several installations at various stages of completion at any one time. Some weeks we open several stations and at other times several weeks pass seemingly void of new openings. On average, we are still opening a new station approximately every two weeks. The only thing that has changed, is that we have upped the ante by increased the number of rapid DC chargers that we intend to install before the end of 2018.
Every installation brings an eye boggling number of hurdles to jump. Sometimes a promised station can take an unexpectedly long time to come to fruition. Because many components are completely out of our control, we do not like to give definite opening dates until the station is actually being installed and has been tested. First and foremost, we want to get each installation 100% faultless, and to that end our team meticulously detail every component before we finally cut the ribbon at a new station.
Most EV owners are interested in the process and excited to hear of new stations opening.
There was huge interest in our time-lapse video showing the massive shipment of new chargers that we had delivered to our warehouse. This was the largest delivery of Rapid Chargers in New Zealand. The exciting thing is that these will soon be coming to a town near you.
The EV community in New Zealand really are pioneers. They are people who wish to make the world a better place, who don’t want to be beholden to the oil industry, or who just love the stylish, quiet driving experience that electric cars give them. Being a pioneer is sometimes difficult but also exhilarating, perilous and creditable. The EV pioneers really are Leading The Charge towards a cleaner, greener New Zealand.