NZ lacks charge to reach electric car target


Electric cars are cheap to run and great for the environment, so why is it such a push to get more Kiwis behind the wheel of one?

Right now there are only 1791 electric cars registered in New Zealand, supported by 142 public charging points and 38 rapid charging stations across the country.

So to reach the Government target of 64,000 electric cars on the roads by the end of 2021 we need to do a lot, lot more.

According to the Greens, what's needed most is to build more infrastructure to get the ball rolling.

Between 100 and 200 rapid charging points are needed by 2021, and Charge Net CEO Steve West says it's working on it.

"Our goal is to have at least 100 stations over the next three years," he says.

"It costs $50,000 to get each one into the ground, so we aim to complete [those] in and around the main state highways and major cities first."

Slower charging points are being made available at malls, hotels and workplaces.

But with the average electric vehicle only travelling 120 kilometres on one charge, how long is it going to take to top up?

If using a rapid charging unit, a typical pure electric car can be charged 80 percent in less than 20 minutes at a cost of around $4 to $7 plus electricity.

That's compared to between six and eight hours with a slower domestic charger for $3 per 100km.

So it's definitely cheaper in the long run, but until New Zealanders come to terms with electric being the way of the future, the Government won't be reaching its target anytime soon.