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Horizon Networks, through partnerships with the Eastern Bay Energy Trust, Whakatāne District Council and Opotiki District Council, will install a further three EV fast charging stations in Opotiki, Te Kaha and Murupara.  The project will provide accessible EV routes within and between the Eastern Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, Rotorua, Taupō  and the Western Bay of Plenty region.

Tony de Farias, Horizon Energy Group Chairman said the expansion of the EV fast charging highway is helping build a more robust network of EV fast charging stations across the region. “It allows EV owners and tourists to readily explore and navigate our region, in an environmentally sustainable way.” Public EV fast charging stations help drivers overcome what is known as “range anxiety”. EVs launched in the market today still only have a range of 100km to 400km. “By providing strategically placed EV fast charging stations we can reduce “range anxiety” and enable more of the community to transition to EVs” says De Farias. The Bay of Plenty currently has 105 registered EVs and there are over 4,000 nationwide.

Eastern Bay Energy Trust Chairperson Don Lewell acknowledged that there is a rapid growth in electric vehicles in New Zealand. “By providing the infrastructure to support the population who choose electric vehicles, and using renewable energy sources, demonstrates our continued commitment to preserving the natural environment. This project is a great example of the leadership and innovation in our wider region."

New Zealand is well placed to benefit from electric vehicles and the Government has shown its commitment to supporting initiatives that encourage the uptake of electric vehicles through the Low Emissions Vehicles Contestable Fund. The fund provides up to $6 million per year (up to $4 million in 2016/17) to co-fund, up to 50%, projects with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns are not strong enough yet to justify full private investment.

New Zealand’s environmental and energy objectives are changing, with greater use of low-carbon electricity and greater choice for consumers. Horizon Networks are committed to supporting the Eastern Bay of Plenty transition to new technologies and accommodating the demand for electric vehicles.

Installation works will commence in November with anticipated completion by Q1 2018.