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Electricity retailers working to further EV uptake

Published: Tue 13 Mar 2018 07:50 PM
Electricity retailers working to further EV uptake in New Zealand
Electric vehicles provide one of the best opportunities for New Zealand to deliver on its climate change goals, and electricity companies are right on board, says the Electricity Retailers’ Association of New Zealand (ERANZ).
The opportunity for EVs and the imperative to collaborate is one of the topics for discussion at the key industry conference Downstream in Auckland today and tomorrow. This follows the release of two reports on EV charging challenges by different lines companies.
ERANZ Chief Executive Jenny Cameron says the wider sector – including electricity companies, car manufacturers, and charging infrastructure providers – is well engaged in the issues of encouraging EV uptake for New Zealand.
“There are challenges but also great opportunities for New Zealand to be smart in how we move to the future.
“Many electricity companies are already offering pricing plans for cheaper overnight electricity that encourage EV users to charge in a smart way.”
Examples include:
Mercury offers a package that discounts an EV user’s entire home usage between 9pm-7am by 20%;
Meridian offers a package that includes cheap rates on an EV user’s entire home usage between 9pm-7am;
Genesis Energy offers off-peak rates for EV users;
Flick Electric provides spot pricing that gives access to the overnight wholesale market;
ChargeNet is exploring the introduction of time-of-use pricing at its stations to further incentivise off-peak charging.
Ms Cameron says these initiatives are just the start and more innovation will come as EV uptake increases and pricing of the distribution network is changed.
“There’s evidence that these initiatives are already working to educate customers about how to best charge an EV off-peak so that there is mutual benefit for the customer and the sector.
“ERANZ anticipates retailers will continue to respond to customers and the networks by offering different plans and packages. Technology is already developing that will encourage the use of in-car functions that stagger the charging impacts to manage when the car is charged.”
At the Downstream conference on a panel today, Ms Cameron noted that retailers were fully supportive of changes to the way lines company costs and services were being priced.
“ERANZ fully supports the work being done by lines companies to better reflect the service being delivered and that prices are fair. This is particularly important as EVs and solar power become more prevalent in New Zealand.
“Given our abundant 85% renewable electricity, EVs are set to play an increasingly important and exciting role in our energy future, and we’ll be ready for it.”

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