23 Nov 2016

Electric vehicle owners heading to Banks Peninsula this summer will be able to charge their vehicles at one of two new public charging stations at Little River.

The new stations are the first of a series of public charging stations that electricity network company Orion and Christchurch City Council plan to install across the greater Christchurch region to help owners of electric vehicles - which currently only have a range of between 100 and 400km -overcome ‘range anxiety’.

The new public electrical vehicle charging stations at Little River.

The new public electrical vehicle charging stations at Little River.

One of the Little River stations has a fast charger which can charge an electric vehicle (EV) in around 20 to 30 minutes. The other station has a standard charger, which takes a few hours to fully charge a car. Normally EVs are not charged to full capacity at public spots, but rather simply ‘topped up’, with fully charging occurring at home overnight using cheaper night rate electricity.

“EV technology is improving all the time and given their many benefits they’re set to make a strong contribution to our transport needs. We want to encourage that future and facilitate our customers’ ability to benefit from EVs,’’ said Orion Chief Executive Rob Jamieson.

“To do that we need to give people the confidence to buy EVs by providing them with places to charge their vehicles away from their homes.’’

Christchurch Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner said EVs offered a number of benefits to the city such as improved air quality, reduced emissions and reduced reliance on imported fuel.

“To help promote EV uptake, we have agreed with Orion on a further five sites for EV charging stations and we’ll be considering more potential locations in the future,’’ Cr Turner said.

The fast charging station at Little River will be free to use until the end of January 2017 so that EV drivers can drive to Akaroa and back in the Christmas holidays at no cost. From February 2017 a typical charge will cost about $10. The standard charging station will be free to use for at least one year.

EV owners need to open an account at charge.net.nz to be able to use the chargers. They will also need to have their own cable as they are vehicle specific.

Find out more about EVs and Orion’s EV charging stations.