Meridian Energy’s renewable electricity gen-tailer New Zealand has announced it will build a national EV charging network to help reduce range anxiety and give drivers confidence in their decisions to use electricity.
In a statement published on Thursday, Meridian said the multi-million dollar scheme will install more than 200 electric vehicle chargers across the country over the next three years “where the Kiwis live and play.”
Meridian said the launch would only use a slower AC charger, due to its lower impact on the power grid and its compatibility with shopping centers, retail and business districts, and community facilities.
Gen-tailer said the AC grid will complement New Zealand’s existing DC fast chargers, which are available to electric vehicle drivers who need to charge quickly and travel long distances.
“New Zealand needs a broader charging infrastructure to help build real momentum to switch to electricity,” said Meridian chief Neal Barclay.
“As a 100 percent renewable energy producer, we are committed to helping Aotearoa achieve its climate change commitments and this is one of the ways we can make a meaningful impact.”
This move is important, as New Zealand, unlike Australia, has been slow to introduce meaningful political policies to support the transition to electric transport.
other than recently mandated that all government agencies must now purchase only electric or hybrid vehicles, the NZ Labor government, which was re-elected in December 2020, stipulated still “considering options” for an incentive scheme to encourage a switch to clean cars.
The party appears to have scrapped plans for “weakness” that would tax polluting cars and offer discounts on cleaner alternatives. The previously proposed separate subsidy option would offer EV buyers a subsidy of $ NZ1000- $ 2,000.
As it stands, EV sales in New Zealand – both full battery and plug-in hybrids, new and used – hum at an average of 500 per month, and hit a peak of 1,010 in September 2019 with the arrival of the Tesla Model 3.
“We know that transport electrification is one of the biggest ways we can help fight climate change. But New Zealand needs a wider charging infrastructure to help build real momentum to switch to electricity, “added Barclay.