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Electric vehicle fast charger a “benefit” to local community

Raglan will now be a popular destination for owners of electric vehicles with the installation of a fast charger by Wel Networks.

Wel Networks CEO Garth Dibley, who was in Raglan when the fast charger went live on Monday afternoon, says day-trippers and holidaymakers now would have no concerns about not making it back home again in their EVs, which currently only have a run time of about 180km per charge.

The Raglan unit, which is free to use and sited next to the Plunket building in Bow St, is the third of five being installed across the Waikato by Wel Networks.

The fast charger can charge an EV in 15 minutes, compared with overnight charging from home.

WEL Networks asset management general manager Paul Blue says WEL is excited about expanding the region’s electric vehicle footprint.

“The Raglan site offers a number of benefits for EV drivers and the local business community.

“We’re starting to see the emergence of electric vehicles on our roads and, while still in its infancy, we do expect use of EVs to grow significantly.”

The government’s Electric Vehicles Programme has a target of doubling the number of electric vehicles in New Zealand every year to reach about 64,000 by 2021.

“Understandably there is apprehension around the distance electric vehicles can travel between charging, so adding the Raglan location will allow drivers to divert from the main highways, bringing additional economic benefits to the community.”

WDC deputy mayor Dynes Fulton, who was also among the entourage of Wel Networks staff and WDC representatives at Monday’s “go live” of the fast charger, called its installation “progress” and the way of the future.

“We are happy to be involved in this project.”

Inger Vos

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