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Northland’s EV users now have 13 charging stations to get around the region, making it possible to drive all the way from Whangarei to Cape Reinga

Whangarei leading the charge in the EV world

Whangarei, winner of the award for the most EV-friendly town in New Zealand at the recent EVworld NZ Champions Awards, has a big advantage over other regions.

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Joseph Camuso, an electric vehicle (EV) enthusiast and a Northland Regional Council manager, says Northland is well connected. “The big advantage we have is knowing all the engineers from the four districts. They can act very quickly to install EV charging infrastructure and make things happen. For example, the very first charger was installed in 11 days from no to go. That’s how fast we can move,” he notes.

Northland’s electric car users now have 13 charging stations to get around. They are installed in towns that include Kaiwaka, Matakohe, Ruakaka, Marsden Point, Dargaville, Whangarei south, Whangarei central, Whangarei north, Tutukaka, Kawakawa, Kerikeri, Kaikohe and Kaitaia. Further charging stations – in Cooper’s Beach, Pukenui and Waitiki Landing – are under construction and should be completed within a month, making it possible to drive all the way from Whangarei to Cape Reinga.

“Whangarei is well served with charging stations and is open for EV visitors. We boast one of the country’s highest ownership rates of EVs, according to transport ministry data,” says Mr Camuso. 

Charged in half an hour

Plans are in place to have charging stations about 50 km apart to cater for more affordable types of EVs, rather than top-end Teslas. 

“Medium-speed chargers are being installed because they are a lot cheaper than high-speed versions, but could still charge a Nissan Leaf in about half an hour and can be easily relocated as demand grows,” Mr Camuso adds. “The new stations make it possible to drive to Cape Reinga even in a low-range EV and have enough charge left for side trips.”

Whangarei drives an organisation called Rev-Up, short for the Regional Electric Vehicle Utility Project, which is a group of Northland EV enthusiasts. This includes the Northland Regional Council, the Far North District Council, Whangarei District Council and Kaipara District Council, along with the power companies Northpower and Top Energy.

Whangarei currently holds the New Zealand record for the most EVs (62) parked in one place. 

About the EVworld NZ Champions Awards

The EVworld NZ Champions Awards recognise and celebrate those individuals, businesses and communities that are championing success, service and progress in promoting the uptake of electric vehicles.

Announced on 7 September, the 2018 winners are:
  • • Most EV friendly Town of the Year: Whangarei
  • • EV Champion of the Year: Martin Kane, Timaru
  • • SME-EV Award of the Year: EVs Enhanced, Christchurch
  • • Fleet Champion of the Year: Foodstuffs NZ
  • • EV Sector Sales and Service Champion of the Year: GVI Electric, Auckland
  • • Outstanding contribution to EVs in New Zealand: ChargeNet.


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