Exclusive: Government's plan for mega EV charging hubs along our state highway network

Newshub can reveal the Government is planning to supercharge our electric vehicle charging network by building charge hubs similar to petrol service stations along our state highway network. 

It wants to build 25–34 hubs containing up to 20 chargers meaning there would be a hub every 150kms along our state highways.

Rural New Zealand, the Government hasn't forgotten you. It wants a charger in every small town with a population of more than 2000 people. 

It's all part of a goal to have 30 percent of our transport fleet electrified by 2030 - a goal we are miles away from achieving.

Randy's had his EV for a while now, but recently he's been running out of places to charge.

"They have charging at McDonald's and back in the day when I had this car what two, three years ago it was all empty nowadays you have like four cars queueing," he said. 

Too many cars, not enough chargers, and if you're off on a long-distance roadie - that's a big problem. 

"It is quite limited at the moment so you have to plan ahead," said Randy. 

The Transport Minister knows it.

"One of the main issues that people talk about is that range anxiety issue, am I going to be able to get to where I need to and have somewhere to charge without getting caught out," Michael Wood said. 

So this is what the Government has got planned: A service centre built specifically for electric vehicles.

Wood wants megahubs with multiple chargers that can fill you up in 15–45 minutes every 150-200kms.

The Government has no idea how much it'll cost. But the industry says it won't come cheap. 

"Mega charging hubs are required, they are a big cost, $10 million plus," said Jolt NZ country manager Chris Monaghan.

Investors like Jolt are ready to go - they just need the Government green light

"The transition to EV is one of the highest adopting rates in the world.

"Now we have to look at infrastructure, how are we going to make sure that all these people who are transitioning to zero-emission transport can confidently charge."

On top of megahubs, the Government also wants chargers in every small town and one public charger for every 20-40 EVs in urban areas.

It's considering compulsory EV chargers in every single new build. 

"It is something that's become a requirement in a number of overseas jurisdictions so we want to see what people think about that," said Wood. 

All that could put a massive strain on the electricity grid.

"We need to make sure that we have smart charging technology that enables us when you go home, when you plug your car in at home, to make sure we spread the load and don't overload the network. With good planning we can do that."

It's all necessary because the Government has set a target of 30 percent of cars being electric by 2035.

"At the moment it's just over 1 percent of the fleet that's electric," Wood said.

"It's a long way to go but we are making progress."

The minister's hoping his supercharged EV charger scheme is the road to cleaner cars.