Kiwis will soon be able to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) for free as Australian-based company Jolt announces a new partnership with Mitre 10 in Aotearoa.
EV chargers will be installed at a number of the hardware company's stores across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch this year.
The first charger sites go live in July, with plans for hundreds to be rolled out New Zealand-wide over the coming years, Jolt said.
Doug McNamee, Jolt's CEO and founder, said he was excited to partner with Mitre 10 to help meet the country's carbon emissions targets.
"Jolt is investing in New Zealand as there is strong momentum within the market to change to an EV," he said.
"Through our partnerships with the leading retail brands and local government in New Zealand, we want to create a large and leading EV charging network that provides the best charging experience for all EV drivers."
The company said EV drivers will have access to 7kW of free charging per day at the fast chargers, providing about 40 to 50 kilometres of range depending on the type of vehicle.
That has the potential to save drivers over $1000 per year, the company added.
Jolt's New Zealand country manager, Chris Monaghan, said the company was developing a network that aligned with local and central Government climate emission targets and would increase the uptake of EVs in the country.
"We are selecting charger locations based on where it is most convenient for EV drivers within the urban areas so we don't disrupt their routine," he said.
"The promise for EV drivers is urban, highly visible and convenient EV fast charging that provides 7kW of free charging every 24 hours. With fast DC EV charging, drivers can enjoy the retail facilities of our partners and then go about their day."
Mitre 10's chief legal and property officer Grant Fraser said public and private sector partners need to collaborate more often to have a real and sustainable impact, and they were excited to be working with Jolt.
"The Mitre 10 co-operative is proud to be contributing to New Zealand's efforts to reduce carbon emissions through this partnership with Jolt," he said. "Thirty-nine of our 84 locally owned stores will have charging stations installed over time.”
"Providing EV charging stations is another way we can continue to enhance our customers' shopping experience with us."
Monaghan said Jolt was "delighted" to launch with such an iconic brand.
"Starting with Mitre 10 and rolling out the service on such a prominent network of stores in New Zealand, you will quickly see the network grow even more with new partners coming onboard as we continue to grow throughout New Zealand," he said.
"It's a really exciting time to be making a positive impact on New Zealand's carbon emissions goals now and into the future."
Jolt's infrastructure isn't reliant on Government grants and subsidies, and is funded by investment from BlackRock and the Real Assets Renewable Energy Fund to make its investment into Aotearoa.
The "functional and sustainable" network runs off renewable energy, contributing to a zero-emission future, the company said.