First public charger in Upper Hutt the next step in support for electric vehicles

Upper Hutt City Council is backing electric vehicle projects, building on the city’s sustainability initiatives.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 28 APR 2017—Upper Hutt Mayor, Wayne Guppy has today opened the first public electric vehicle charging station in the city. The new fast-charging station, located at Lion Court, is in the heart of Upper Hutt’s city centre. It is an ideal location for residents and visitors to top up their electric vehicles while enjoying the local shops and amenities. The charging station connects Upper Hutt with the growing network of electric car charging stations already in place across the Wellington region. There is currently one other electric vehicle charger in Upper Hutt, at Staglands Wildlife Reserve.

“Here in Upper Hutt, we are pleased to support clean and sustainable transport choices,” says Mayor Wayne Guppy. “This is one of several initiatives that we are excited to be involved in. Though it is early days, we look forward to the growing uptake of electric vehicles in the future.”

Council worked with ChargeNet NZ, who installed the station with support from Wellington Electricity. Over the last 18 months ChargeNet NZ has installed an electric vehicle charging station at a rate of around one every two weeks, with the aim of having 105 in place across the country (one every 60 to 70 km) by the end of 2018.

“We’re excited to be bringing Upper Hutt city centre online as part of our EV fast-charging network,” says ChargeNet NZ Chief Operating Officer, Nick Smith.

As part of further actions taken to implement its Sustainability Strategy 2012 – 2022, Upper Hutt City Council is currently supporting two other exciting electric vehicle projects.

The Wellington region’s inaugural EVolocity schools programme was launched in March. Building on engineering and technology teaching in high schools, EVolocity gives students the chance to design, build, and race their own basic electric vehicles. The aim is to educate the next generation of drivers so that they understand how electric vehicles work and what their performance and environmental benefits are. Upper Hutt College, St Patrick’s College Silverstream and Hutt International Boys School are participating in EVolocity.

Council is also a sponsor of the Leading the Charge national road trip. Leading the Charge will make a stop on the Wellington Waterfront on 29 and 30 April as part of the MTA 100 celebrations. Leading the Charge gives people the opportunity to experience electric vehicles first-hand and seeks to remove the perceived range barrier by driving electric vehicles the length of the country. Members of the public will be able to test drive several electric vehicles—including a Tesla Model S.