EV Fast Charging Arrives At Gas Stations In New Zealand, Take Notice Rest Of World

1 year ago by Jay Cole 27

Z Energy, a traditional petrol refueling company in New Zealand has teamed up with EV charging network Charge.net.nz to provide fast charging stations at locations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Z Station In Christchurch

Z Station In Christchurch

Z says it pumps more than 2 billions liters of fuel and a year, but when it comes to dispensing electricity (at approximately $5-$10 a pop, or 25 cents a minute) it will be foregoing keeping any revenue for itself; rather it will be providing the service as a convenience courtesy to its customers.

Z sustainability manager Gerri Ward on the decision to include an EVSE station at popular locations (via NZHerald):

“We’re not an oil company, we’re a transport energy company and we’re committed to meeting the needs of our customers, whatever they might be.”

As for the fees collected, everything goes to Charge.net.co.nz:

“There’s nothing commercial in it for us – we don’t expect to make any money out of it. It’s there as a service.”

Today, six fast charging locations are in operation at the busiest Z stations, but the company says it is open to making more spaces available at other sites, such as in Waiouru and Sanson – both seen as key “long distance” travel points.

Also on hand for the unveiling of Z’s Auckland Airport charging station on Friday was EV-celebrity and activist Chelsea Sexton, who added some of her own thoughts on the station and the need for public fast charging in the above video provided.

Currently there are just over 1,000 plug-in vehicles on the roads New Zealand, as compared to some ~3 million light vehicles.

Bonus Video: Why Kiwis are signing up for Teslas:

Double Bonus Video: New Zealand’s fourth-most-popular folk duo in concert (and totally unrelated to electric vehicles)

NZHerald.co.nz, hat tip to Miggy!

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27 responses to "EV Fast Charging Arrives At Gas Stations In New Zealand, Take Notice Rest Of World"

  1. sveno says:

    Thanks for the FoC, needed that.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Jay, if I recall correctly, used to have Jemaine as his avatar over at GM-Volt.com 🙂

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Wait, I think that is his avatar when he posts here too,LOL

  2. Alan says:

    Makes perfect sense to put EV chargers in Gas stations, most people will probably make use of facilities such as the stores for snacks or coffees if they sell them whilst waiting for their cars to charge.

    Better to get people who no longer need gas to visit the store than them never setting foot inside one ever again ?

    1. Brandon says:

      In a place like New Zealand gas stations are probably some of the only really good locations for fast chargers because of their great locations with 24/7 availability of toilets and some food.

      New Zealand has really made progress in fast charge infrastructure, having gone from a couple fast chargers a year ago to two dozen today.

      1. arne-nl says:

        And you forget the most important facility that the gas station offers to EV drivers: a grid connection 😉

  3. R.S says:

    The most profit with gas stations is made in the shop, at least for the shop owner, so I guess they might make more money on a person charging, than on one refueling.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Exactly! Most gas station owners rely on the break-even fuel sales to have some people go in and buy something from the store.

      Imagine how much their sales could increase when refueling takes 5 minutes instead of 30 seconds? I would certainly be much more likely to go inside and buy something, since I have to wait a few minutes anyway.

      EV charging is a perfect technology for them to embrace, assuming the gas companies they work with don’t prevent them from doing so.

      1. Peter says:

        “Imagine how much their sales could increase when refueling takes 5 minutes instead of 30 seconds? I would certainly be much more likely to go inside and buy something, since I have to wait a few minutes anyway.”

        There’s also the big difference that EV’s can charge completely unattended while you can’t refuel your ICE car unattended. Payment for refuelling/charging is usually done outside with payment cards, so you don’t even enter the store where you will get tempted by snacks etc.

        With electric cars it’s different as it can be done unattended, so many charging customers will go into the store just to stretch their legs and kill time while charging. Once inside the store many will get tempted to buy a snack or coffee, and they have plenty of time to drink a cup of coffee anyway as it takes a while to charge.

  4. Mike says:

    The margins for gas tend to be very slim (at least in the US), so most of the profit is sodas and Slim Jim’s. If the margins are similar in NZ, then while they sound altruistic, they are just doing business as usual.

    In fact catering to EVs is probably a really good idea. The shorter range and increased charge/refueling times probably results in more sales to EV customers. You also don’t have the liability of leaking storage tanks.

  5. Speculawyer says:

    They won’t make money on the electricity but they’ll make money selling drinks & junk food.

  6. ffbj says:

    Reminds me of ‘Barenaked Ladies.’

  7. ffbj says:

    Just a link to the Tesla drive across America:
    http://kovacevic.com/

  8. Kosee says:

    Interesting how gas station locations will develop in the future. I think shops turning into restaurants is a likely outcome with more time to kill.

  9. ProEV says:

    World, take notice? Royal Dutch Shell started doing this in Norway a while ago. 🙂

    In Norwegian:

    http://www.fortum.no/pressemeldinger/fortum-inngar-avtale-med-st1smart-fuel-om-lading-av-elbil-pa-shell-stasjoner/

    Just sayin’

    1. Peter says:

      Yes very old news. This was first introduced in the Netherlands all the way back in 2011.
      And Shell has done this here in Denmark too since December 1, 2013. Shell teamed up with Danish EV charging provider https://clever.dk
      Danish Shell press release from 2013: http://www.shell.dk/aboutshell/media-centre/news-and-media-releases/2013/tank-el-hos-shell.html

  10. Touring says:

    Old news. Had this in Norway for some years

  11. Simon Cope says:

    Good article. Their website is http://www.charge.net.nz (misspelling in article).

  12. Just_chris says:

    In a country with so much cheap electricity (hydro + wind) and so little oil I can’t understand why there isn’t a bigger push for ev’s? Just swap china milk for ev’s, it’s got to work out? Or is it a case of why help the cow when it is will to share it’s milk for almost nothing,

  13. What does ‘fast’ (as in ‘fast-charging’) mean?

    1. OK, so you mean DC rapid chargers… Quite why you can’t ever bring yourself to be clear about charging types in all your articles is a mystery to me. MW

  14. floodzone says:

    I think gas stations are the worst place for ev charging.Ev drivers will focus on how much quicker the gas customers are outta there.Put them in malls and other places where your actually going and take advantage of the fact that you dont have to babysit your re-charge and other numerous advantages.

  15. mxs says:

    I am not quite buying how this could survive as a free service … someone purchasing a bag of candy with the charge???

    Makes no business sense …

    1. mxs says:

      I realize the station charges for it, but I cannot see how they can keep doing it and not making any money in the future? That’s what I meant.

  16. Surya says:

    This is great news, NZ needs more fast chargers!

  17. Nix says:

    This sounds good now, but I am very afraid of a future where gas stations come to dominate the EV charging infrastructure.

    Whatever your feelings are about E85, we’ve seen how bad gas stations screw up the prices when they are given monopoly control over the sales of E85.

    For example, we watched as the price of corn drop from a late 2012 high of $800, to $400 by the beginning of 2014. But the price of ethanol went from $2.50 up to a spike of $4.00 over the same timespan. All of this was when wholesale gas prices were relatively steady at $3.00.

    At the gas pump, the prices of E85 consistently follow the ups and downs of gasoline, despite only having 15-30% gasoline in E85.

    Gas stations will attempt to manipulate charging prices just like they manipulate E85 pricing if they can figure out a way to do it.

    1. Surya says:

      I don’t think that should be a problem. As soon as the market starts maturing, there should be multiple charging networks. And if one is very expensive and the other is fairly priced, that problem will go away.
      Also: installing a charger is far easier than installing a gas pump, so I don’t think this market will be dominated by the gas stations. Just like in this case: the gas station doesn’t operate the chargers.