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Northwood opens first electric charging station at a South Island supermarket

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    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    EV enthusiast Mark Nixon was first to plug in at the new fast charge station at Northwood New World, Christchurch.

    Christchurch’s electric car owners can now refuel while shopping with the installation of a new charging station.

    The first electric vehicle (EV) fast charger at a South Island supermarket, the station at New World Northwood can fully charge a car in 30 minutes or less.

    A partnership between charging station network ChargeNet NZ, Orion and Foodstuffs made its Thursday unveiling possible as a trial for the supermarket chain, which is considering rolling out the initiative to its other stores.

    EV enthusiast Mark Nixon was first to use the station and said it incentivised more people to drive electric.

    “It means if you do a bit more driving in town than you normally do you can pop in here, have a charge up and have peace of mind you’re going to get home okay.”

    The Ministry of Transport hopes to double the number of electric vehicles on New Zealand roads annually to reach about 64,000 by 2021 but sees the lack of access to charging stations as a barrier.

    Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson said the Northwood station reflected the mainstreaming of electric vehicles.

    “In coming years having chargers located at supermarkets will be part of everyday life.

    “The New World Northwood site is strategically placed to for tourists coming into the city so it made sense to install [it] in this location.”

    Charging stations have already opened at Z Moorhouse Ave and in Little River. One is planned for The Tannery in Woolston and another at Spitfire Square, near Christchurch Airport.

    ChargeNet NZ chief executive Steve West said the station added resilience to Canterbury’s post-earthquake infrastructure.

    EV users need to open an account at charge.net.nz to use the charger. Its website also carries details of the charging station network across New Zealand.

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