Charging up the King Country
2 August 2018
At least 15 electric vehicle chargers will be installed in the King Country by September, encouraging electric-powered visitors to spend more time in the region.
The Lines Company (TLC) approached local accommodation and tourism businesses earlier this year to get on board with the project after TLC won a grant through the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund. The government fund encourages investment, including in the regions, to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).
TLC chief executive Sean Horgan said the growth of EVS was exceeding projections and that TLC wanted the King Country to get its share of the benefits. Already, 500 EVs are being registered each month and that number is expected to grow.
“Part of TLC’s role in the community is to assist and enable economic development. We wanted to ensure our community had the electric vehicle chargers and other infrastructure in place to take full advantage of a growing market,” Horgan said.
“It’s fantastic to have 15 business already on board and I’d like to encourage others to also put their hand up and be part of it.”
Last month all 15 signed-up businesses attended a training session run by TLC and the service providers who will install the chargers. The session overviewed the technology and maintenance requirements and also included a health and safety induction.
From now through to September, those businesses will have EV chargers installed at a subsidised cost. All 15 chargers will be up and running by the end of September, providing EV drivers with much more flexibility to travel around the region.
Businesses involved have signed up for a range of reasons. For Chateau Tongariro Hotel general manager Kathy Guy environmental considerations were key.
“It fitted the ethos of what we do and who we are. Responsibility and guardianship of the environment are one of the pillars of our business,” she said.
“Encouraging electric vehicle use in this world heritage park is an important step to a cleaner environment and we need to be ready for innovation.”
Ōtorohanga Kiwi Holiday Park owner Billie-Ann Gadd said they joined so they could be prepared for future growth
“We already have guests arriving in their electric vehicles and knowing that we will be able to accommodate their needs as the demand grows is key.”
TLC has partnered with GoodMeasure to supply the technology behind the EV chargers. Once installed, businesses involved will be able to access user information and use that to help with their future business decisions.
In mid-August, TLC will approach local businesses again in case others wish to be part of the initiative. Local tourism or accommodation providers are welcome to contact TLC in the meantime to register their interest.