Wellington’s position as home to the nation’s most electrified transport fleet is getting a major boost as Meridian Energy launches its new Zero EV charging network in the capital.
Meridian is partnering with Wellington and Hutt City Councils to deliver the network, which will double the current number of EV charging stations in the region with at least 60 expected to be installed in Wellington City and 20 in Lower Hutt over the next few years. Meridian will install and manage the network on behalf of the councils, which will purchase and retain ownership of the chargers.
Meridian Chief Customer Officer Lisa Hannifin says the partnership with Wellington and Hutt City Councils and co-funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) will ensure the region has the infrastructure to maintain its top spot in national EV uptake.
“There are currently fewer than 50 public chargers in Wellington and Lower Hutt, despite the region having the highest uptake of fully electric vehicles in the country. We share the same goal as our council partners to significantly expand the charging network to meet the growing demand.
"Once the Zero rollout is complete, Wellington will have one of the biggest destination charging networks in Aotearoa. It will be faster and more seamless than ever to charge an EV in the capital,” Hannifin says.
Wellington City Council Manager Climate Change Response Alison Howard says around 34% of Wellington emissions come from road transport, so alongside the shift to active and public transport, switching to EVs will help achieve the city’s goal of a 57% reduction in remissions by 2030.
“The installation of our 60 new chargers as part of our ongoing Charged Up Capital project is positive news for the many Wellingtonians who want to transition to an EV but don’t have access to private residential chargers.
“There are already more than 6,000 EVs on the region’s roads and we expect this number to jump considerably as our charging infrastructure expands and more car owners make the shift to electric,” Howard says.
Hutt City Council Head of Climate and Waste, Jörn Scherzer says directly targeting the sector with the region’s greatest carbon intensity is a win for both the climate and the region’s road users.
“This project represents the greatest level of co-investment in public charging anywhere in the country. It will go a long way to removing one of the key barriers to EV uptake in the region – a lack of convenient and accessible charging infrastructure,” Scherzer says.
Hannifin says the Zero network will feature best-in-class international technology, including a smartphone app allowing drivers to start charging their vehicles, locate nearby chargers and track their usage and history.
“We’ve invested heavily in Zero to make sure EV drivers have a great experience. We’re proud to be leaders in destination charging and to be supporting Wellington and Hutt City Councils to tackle the significant climate challenge at hand.
“Alongside the country’s first electric ferry connecting Wellington and Lower Hutt, we’re excited to be supporting this major rollout of new EV chargers and maintaining the region’s position as the electric transport capital of Aotearoa,” Hannifin says.
As the Zero rollout progresses, more locations may be added including AC fast charging. More information about the network is available here.
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Meridian Energy Media Team
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