Second EV rapid charger opened

Green MP Gareth Hughes speaks at the formal opening of a new rapid charger for electric vehicles,...
Green MP Gareth Hughes speaks at the formal opening of a new rapid charger for electric vehicles, at the University of Otago. Photo: Sharron Bennett
Frustrations about limited access to electric vehicle rapid chargers in  Dunedin may be reduced by  the provision of a second  rapid charger, on the corner of St David and Cumberland Sts.

A Dunedin EV Owners Group spokesman said in April that there were regular queues of electric vehicles waiting to use the city’s first, and at the time  only, rapid charger in Filleul St.

This free-use fast charger — supplied by local electricity network Aurora Energy — was installed in 2016 and, at that time, was the first of its kind in the South Island.

A second rapid charger was formally opened on University of Otago property on Friday afternoon and Green MP Gareth Hughes spoke at the official launch.

Emeritus Prof Henrik Moller, of the university’s Centre for Sustainability, yesterday also welcomed the city’s second rapid charger.

The move was a "relief", given strong pressures on the first rapid charger, and would also encourage more drivers of electric vehicles to visit Dunedin, Prof Moller said.

ChargeNet chief operating officer Nick Smith said that in the first 20 days of use, since September 26, electric vehicles had used the new, pay-for-use facility 128 times.

Mr Smith said he was elated the university had created a solution to his almost three-year long hunt for another Dunedin charging site.

The new initiative is a collaborative effort between ChargeNet, Aurora Energy, and the university.

Dunedin has a high proportion of electric vehicle owners per head of population and a lot of enthusiastic people in its electric vehicle community.

Rapid chargers use direct current (DC) and can charge a standard family car in 15 to 30 minutes but are relatively costly to install, while charging a vehicle at home normally involves using alternating current (AC) and takes six to eight hours.

Aurora Energy is an Otago electrical distribution company, and is owned on behalf of the Dunedin City Council.

Aurora Energy chief executive Richard Fletcher said the company was "delighted to support expansion" of public fast charging for electric vehicles (EVs). 

Otago University chief operating officer Stephen Willis said the university was pleased to provide a location for the charger to show the university’s commitment to sustainability was real and measurable.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

Comments

Without any network upgrades and who will pay for the upgrades, If people in Dunedin decided to move to EV's at what % of the change over would the power network fall over? 5% 10%?

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