Some might say they generated interest in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) when it was really needed; others might say they created an expectation that electric cars should cost nothing to run... and a lot of public arguments. Oh, and queues. The queues.
Whatever the case, Vector's long-rumoured sale of its eight Auckland EV fast-charge stations is now official. From February 19, they will be part of the ChargeNet network, and switch from free-to-use to part of ChargeNet's service.
Vector started its charging trial back in 2015, the same year ChargeNet launched its business. ChargeNet CEO Danusia Wypych says its bid for the Vector chargers was successful partly because it has also undertaken to continue to work with the power provider on better understanding EV charging customers' needs and behaviour.
But yes, that means users do now have to belong to ChargeNet and yes, they will have to pay.
“We believe many of the current Vector charging users will already be ChargeNet customers," says Wypych. "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.
“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 [it].
"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.”
ChargeNet already operates 347 charging sites throughout NZ, and says it plans to open 30 more during 2024.
Which sites are switching from Vector to ChargeNet?
Constellation Drive McDonalds, 14-16 Constellation Drive
Aryeh (Piha Cafe), 20 Seaview Road, Piha
Hobson Street Substation, 13 Hobson St, central Auckland
Newmarket Substation, 1 Seccombes Road, Auckland
Vodafone Events Centre, 770 Great South Road, Wiri
MOTAT, Stadium Road, Western Springs
Auckland Hospital, 2 Park Road, Grafton
Greenlane McDonalds, 320/356 Great South Road