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Dunedin is set to get another fast-charging station for electrical vehicles.
Councillors at yesterday's Dunedin City Council meeting approved a new licence for ChargeNet to operate a charging station on the corner of Vogel and Water Sts.
The agreement also meant two on-street car parks nearby would be designated for EV charging use, a DCC staff report said.
The facility would form part of a network of 100 fast-charging stations being rolled out nationally by ChargeNet, which already included one at the University of Otago and a second at New World Mosgiel.
Aurora Energy Ltd, a Dunedin City Council-owned company, also offered a free fast-charging station at the Filleul St car park, although it faced reliability and access problems, the report said.
Fast-charging stations allowed electric vehicles' batteries to be restored in between 20 and 40 minutes, while vehicles plugged in to wall sockets could take hours.
The agreement with ChargeNet meant the company would have a five-year licence, followed by the option of two further five-year renewals, if the council agreed.
The station would help cater for the 523 electric vehicles now registered in Dunedin, as well as the 12,725 vehicles nationally.
The Government aimed to double that number every year until 2021, but required a sufficient network of charging stations to support their use, the report said.
Despite that, not all councillors agreed with the deal yesterday.
Cr Andrew Whiley said he could not support ''giving away'' the car parks to a private company free, and suggested ChargeNet should have to return a 10% commission to the council.
Other councillors disagreed, including Cr Jim O'Malley, who said it was an economic incentive to deliver a result for the community.
''They are coming in and bringing a technology that we need in this city.''
Cr Aaron Hawkins said he could cite numerous other examples of council support for private businesses, while Cr Christine Garey said the council needed to be ''walking the walk'' on issues like climate change.
''Here is something concrete, something practical, something that demonstrates we are serious to our community. And they are looking for that now.''
Cr Lee Vandervis supported the deal, but questioned why the council did not find an off-street site to avoid the loss of two on-street car parks.
Mayor Dave Cull said cars would still be parked in the spaces while being charged, and Cr Kate Wilson said the council would not lose out financially.
The car parks were not metered, so no parking income would be lost, and tourists driving electric vehicles would be encouraged to visit the city, she said.
Councillors voted to approve the deal, despite Cr Whiley's opposition.
The exact installation date was not yet confirmed.