Electric vehicle charging stations planned in other South Island towns

Electric vehicle users on the South Island will soon have access to more charging stations, making it easier to travel long distances.

Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods said 10 new DC fast charging stations would be installed in Kohatu, St Arnaud, Springs Junction, Hari Hari and Haast as part of a partnership between the Fund Government for Low Emission Transportation and Meridian Energy.

The new stations are expected to be available from next May and will benefit motorists traveling between Nelson and Christchurch on the inland route and along State Highway 6 on the west coast.

Woods said they would fill in key gaps in the South Island’s public electric vehicle charging network.

“This round of co-funding has been strategically targeted to a few specific locations, to ensure good load coverage in the South Island.”

Charging stations at these locations would complement the government’s goal of providing fast charging stations to the public at 75 kilometer intervals along national highways.

Woods said the new stations were located in some of New Zealand’s most difficult sites to install electric vehicle chargers, due to power grid constraints and declining traffic volumes.

“These locations are on some of our popular tourist routes, giving travelers and locals the confidence to take their electric vehicle and enjoy the scenic route without risking getting stranded.

“Being more remote, they have presented unique challenges to potential charging providers, so I am delighted that this public good funding government assistance will allow them to cross the line.”

The Low-Emission Transportation Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, is contributing $1,065,914 alongside $756,782 of private investment from Meridian to help fill gaps in the national highway system.

“Meridian provided a robust solution, with two fast chargers at each site to provide redundancy. They thought outside the box to provide both value for money and viable technical solutions, including the battery storage at Springs Junction, the first of its kind in New Zealand.”

New charging stations in the South Island

Kohatu – two 50 kW DC fast chargers, filling a grid gap between Murchison and Nelson.
Haast – two 50 kW DC fast chargers, filling a grid gap between Wanaka and Franz Joseph.
Hari Hari – two 50 kW DC fast chargers, filling a gap between Fox Glacier and Westport.
St Arnaud – two 25kW DC chargers, facilitating the movement of electric vehicles to Lake Rotoiti and Blenheim.
Springs Junction – two 50kW DC fast chargers and three 120kWh battery energy storage system units, eliminating a key charging infrastructure black spot between the West Coast and Christchurch.

Lynn A. Saleh