ChargeNet Limited (ChargeNet) and Vector Limited (Vector) have announced the sale of eight of Vector’s public EV-charging sites in Auckland to ChargeNet, which will be integrated into the ChargeNet network, with additional sites expected to follow in the next month.
ChargeNet CEO Danusia Wypych says Vector began trialling the provision of public charging in 2015, the same year ChargeNet started building New Zealand’s first national charging network. “It’s a unique opportunity to integrate Vector’s successful programme into our established network. The ChargeNet and Vector teams are working closely together to provide a seamless experience for existing users,” she says.
The sale will see ChargeNet take over the operation and ownership of the Vector chargers, which includes both fast and AC chargers. These chargers will be integrated into the ChargeNet network and move to a paid usage model from the 19th of February. Customers will need to set up a ChargeNet account to use the sites if they do not already have one.
“We believe many of the current Vector charging users will already be ChargeNet customers, so it will be an easy switch. Our experience is that EV drivers are savvy when it comes to getting the most out of their charging, so some will also have ChargeNet accounts linked to their electricity provider through our partnerships with Genesis Energy, Electric Kiwi and Octopus Energy, which provide flexibility across New Zealand,” she says.
“From the 19th of February, drivers can start and monitor their sessions through the ChargeNet App, or if they already have a ChargeNet fob, they can continue to use their ChargeNet fobs. We understand that moving to a paid model for current Vector charging users will be a change, and we’re aiming to make that as smooth as possible. Ultimately, this move will allow us to make investments and improvements at popular sites, which benefits all EV drivers.”
Danusia Wypych says ChargeNet’s bid for Vector’s EV-charging network was successful as it included a commitment to work in partnership with Vector to enable a continued understanding of the energy needs of EVs and customer charging behaviour in Auckland. “We are also hoping to work with landlords on investment and improvement plans for charging sites. From the 19th of February we expect to have the sites operating on our ChargeNet app and payment platforms.
Vector Group Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie says, “We started deploying EV chargers as a trial around Auckland in 2015, with the support of our majority owner Entrust and we appreciate their forward thinking and commitment to customer solutions. We’re now pleased to be establishing an ongoing relationship with ChargeNet to continue developing our understanding of the energy needs of EVs and customer charging behaviour in Auckland, and how to meet them in the most affordable way.
“The sale is in line with Vector’s strategy to enable the lowest-cost electrification of transport. We, as the network operator, maintain the ability to monitor and dynamically respond to periods of high and low electricity demand on our network, to smooth out overall demand. This is a similar approach to how electric bus charging is enabled by Vector in Auckland currently.
“We’re happy to be transferring our chargers to ChargeNet, so that EV drivers in Auckland can continue to benefit from their customer-focused charging solutions in convenient locations across the region.”
In the last year, ChargeNet has increased its number of fast-charging points from 285 to 347 in the last 12 months and has plans to open up to 30 new sites during 2024. Sustained charging demand on the ChargeNet network over the summer has proven that the appetite for EV charging continues to grow in New Zealand, and ChargeNet is committed to making proactive investments to support that growth.
ChargeNet will continue to keep customers updated on what is changing at the sites on its website. Customers can visit www.charge.net.nz/auckland for more information.