Dunedin's first fast charger unveiled

Delta Utility Services chief executive Grady Cameron tries  the new electric vehicle rapid charger in Filleul St, Dunedin, yesterday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Delta Utility Services chief executive Grady Cameron tries the new electric vehicle rapid charger in Filleul St, Dunedin, yesterday. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Delta officially unveiled the South Island's first fast charger for electric cars in a Dunedin car park yesterday.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull was there to herald the development.

The installation "fits well with [Dunedin]'s reputation for innovation'', he said.

"I'm very proud ... I'd like to congratulate Delta for this initiative - they didn't have to do it.''

About 30 people, including local Labour MPs David Clark and Clare Curran, attended.

A row of electric vehicles lined one side of the Filleul St car park, waiting to be charged.

The charger can replenish most electric vehicle batteries to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes.

Charging at Delta's station would be free for the first year, although car owners would have to pay the normal parking fee,

Delta communications manager Gary Johnson said yesterday.

Delta chief executive Grady Cameron said the rapid charger would encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Dunedin and Otago and contribute to a growing network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across New Zealand.

"As the local electricity infrastructure provider for Dunedin, we're committed to enabling the greatest possible use of emissions-free, renewable energy for transport in the city.''

At the opening yesterday, Mr Cull also took the opportunity to announce the Dunedin City Council would be providing its own electric car charger in the council's Great King St car park, in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber chief executive Dougal McGowan said the new charger was sitting in his office, waiting to be installed.

"We're just waiting for a co-ordination around getting the contractors to put it in, as well as council staff to make sure all the safety stuff is correct.''

The charger was a slow charger, not a fast charger like Delta's in Filleul St, Mr McGowan said.

That meant cars would take longer to charge, but also meant it would be less of a burden in terms of electricity provision.

Installing the charger was "about the first stage of future-proofing our infrastructure needs and [energy] wants,'' he said.

Mr McGowan expected the charger would be installed in the next two weeks.

The city's first recharging station opened in Waitati last month.

Attached to Blueskin Nurseries and Cafe, the station can charge a 300km-range electric car from empty to full in about five hours.

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