New Paihia EV charger to plug a gap

Published on 06 July 2021

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Paihia will soon get a new 25kW DC electric vehicle (EV) charging station and two dedicated carparks close to the central business district, plugging a significant gap in charging options for locals and tourists.

The popular destination currently has just one 7kW AC Tesla charger on the waterfront, but no multipurpose DC charging stations. These are a common feature of the Crimson Coast EV Highway, which provides a network of EV chargers around the Far North enabling EVs to travel to Cape Rēinga and back. Most EVs gain 150km in range using a 25kW charger for an hour.

Three Council parallel carparks on Williams Road will be converted into dedicated 90-degree EV carparks next to the charging station. The charging station site was chosen because it is adjacent to necessary Top Energy power infrastructure and provides room for more, faster recharge stations to be installed in future.

The recommendation to create dedicated car parks for the station was made by the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board using the Council’s Parking and Traffic Control Bylaw 2010. 

Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board Chair, Belinda Ward, says that reconfiguring the three carparks made sense. “Paihia is a very popular destination but EV users are not well catered for. Demand for charging stations is growing and will only increase following the Government’s decision to make electric vehicles more affordable.”

She says the new charging station will fill a gap in current infrastructure and support local business by encouraging EV users to explore Paihia’s central business district while charging their vehicle.

EV advocate and Paihia resident, Craig Salmon, obtained funding for the charging station from the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. He says he is “stoked” the Council is supporting the transition to EVs.

"This fast charger makes the Bay of Islands more accessible to visitors with EVs. There are massive environmental, economic and health benefits using local electricity for transport and visitors now have that option in Paihia."

The new Paihia charging station will be installed in time for the summer tourism rush and will be the tenth charging station on the Crimson Coast EV Highway. Others are located at Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Waipapa, Coopers Beach, Kaitāia, Houhora/Pukenui, Waitiki Landing and Ōpononi.