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At the start of April there were 264 electric vehicles registered in Dunedin and 398 in Otago, figures from the Ministry of Transport show.
But because of the way the registrations are collected, based on postal addresses, there were likely to be more electric vehicles.
While charge stations were spread across Dunedin, there was only one rapid charger, in Filleul St. A rapid charger is able to charge a vehicle to about 80% in about 15 minutes while other slower charges can take hours.
Dunedin EV Owners Group co-convener Alan Wilden said from a very small number only two years ago the number of electric vehicles in the city had grown to more than 300.
There was regularly a queue of vehicles waiting to charge at the Filleul St site, Mr Wilden said.
To make matters worse petrol cars were often parked in the two parks on either side of the charger which was called an "ice block", he said.
A national survey found Dunedin had the worse rate of ice blocking in the country.
In the past month the Dunedin City Council had installed new signs to make it clear the two parks were for electric vehicles, but the problem continued, he said.
Part of it was local electric vehicle owners using the site instead of charging their vehicles at home.
"It’s not just petrol cars. There are some Dunedin electric vehicle owners who are using the charger because it’s quick and free."
The EV Owners group made a submission to the council’s 10-year plan, asking for clearer signs and enforcement at Filleul St site to discourage non-electric vehicles. The group also asked the council to consider multiple parallel parking and charge zones for electric vehicles waiting to charge. Auckland company ChargeNet New Zealand and Aurora Energy are partnering to install two new rapid charge stations in St David St and Pak’n Save, in South Dunedin.
ChargeNet was unable to confirm yesterday when the new chargers would be installed but Mr Wilden said he had been told at least one would be in operation before the middle of the year.