Electric vehicle (EV) drivers commuting between Nelson and Christchurch in New Zealand now have a welcome oasis in the middle of the charger desert. Meridian Energy recently installed two new EV charging stations at Flat Rock Cafe in Kohattu, with plans underway for another charging stop at Springs Junction. The charging stations are part of an initiative by Meridian Energy, in conjunction with the Government’s Low Emission Transport Fund, to address gaps in the charging network in the South Island.
Ryan Kugelijn, president of energy innovation at Meridian, emphasized the importance of providing multiple fast charging options along major state highways to support electric driving. These new charging stations give EV drivers more charging certainty while enjoying the scenic roads of the North South Island. Eight charging stations will be installed across the South Island by 2023-24 to meet the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Commission’s target of public fast-charging every 75km on state highways.
The 25 kWh charging stations in Kohattu provide a significant increase in range of 125-150 km with just 30 minutes of charging, which many EV owners benefit from on their commute. Meridian Energy has announced plans to install additional chargers at Springs Junction while simultaneously developing a battery energy storage system (BESS) that uses recycled EV batteries to charge overnight.
Deb Coleman, owner of the Flat Rock Cafe, expressed her excitement about the charging stations and how they will positively impact her business. EV commuters now have the opportunity to recharge with a cup of coffee or enjoy a delicious lunch while their vehicles regain power. This win-win situation benefits both the VE community and the local community.
Meridian Energy continues to play a key role in expanding EV charging infrastructure across New Zealand, with aggressive efforts to complete the remaining charging stations and introduce BESS at Springs Junction by April 2024. By closing gaps in the charging network, Meridian Energy encourages an early transition to electric transportation and makes long-distance commuting easier for EV drivers.
**Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)**
1. How many charging stations will be installed in the South Island of New Zealand?
– Eight charging stations will be installed in the South Island by 2023-24.
2. How much extra range can EV owners get with a 30-minute charge at Kohatu charging stations?
– EV owners can get a substantial range boost of 125-150 km with a 30-minute charge at Kohatu charging stations.
3. What is BESS that Meridian Energy produces?
– BESS is a battery energy storage system that uses recycled EV batteries for overnight charging.
4. How do new charging stations benefit EV owners and local communities?
– New charging stations allow EV owners to have more charging confidence while enjoying their commutes, while providing economic benefits to local communities such as more visits to nearby cafes and restaurants.
5. What is Meridian Energy’s goal in expanding EV charging infrastructure?
– Meridian Energy seeks to ease the transition to electric transportation by closing gaps in the charging network and encouraging long-distance commuting for EV drivers.
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