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Northland EV loop vital for Kaipara


Northland is a step closer to making most of the region easily accessible to electric vehicle (EV) owners.

Just weeks after launching ChargeNet’s fast charge station at Kaiwaka, the company has again teamed up with Northpower and the Kaipara District Council – this time in Dargaville.

ChargeNet launched its second fast charger in Dargaville last Wednesday morning, situated alongside Northpower’s destination charger on Totara St.

The new station can fully charge an EV in 20-30 minutes.

ChargeNet Director Steve West says a third will be operational in Kawakawa before Christmas and believes Northland is continuing to lead the way facilitating the growth of the EV sector in New Zealand.

Northpower Network General Manager Graham Dawson says once Kawakawa is complete, Northland will be the first region with the core infrastructure to support EV use and will allow travel within the region and, importantly, right through to Auckland.

“The installation of NZ’s first fast charger in Alexander Street in the Whangarei CBD in May 2014 has been the catalyst of a strong growth in the number of electric vehicles in the region that far exceeds the national average. The recent installation of ChargeNet’s Kaiwaka fast charger appears to have further increased interest in EVs,” says Mr Dawson.

“We are seeing more and more people investing in electric vehicles in Northland because operating costs are 75 percent lower than diesel or petrol vehicles. We have found with the seven EVs on the Northpower fleet in Whangarei maintenance is minimal and operating costs are very low.”

Mr Dawson cites the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) life cycle analysis report on plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as further proof that EVs are a sound bet for New Zealand. There are now more than 50 EVs in Northland.

Kaipara District Council’s General Manager Infrastructure, Curt Martin, says Kaipara’s involvement is about ensuring the potentially increased number of people using PEVs can make the most of what Kaipara has to offer.

“Kaiwaka and Dargaville are the strategic points on the Kauri Coast, and this charging station opens up the western side of Kaipara for PEV drivers wanting to explore this spectacular part of the country.”

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