Masterton powers into the future
Masterton celebrated the opening of its first fast charge station for electric vehicles on Friday.
The station, which has two designated charging bays and is located on Dixon St opposite New World Supermarket, is a joint project between Powerco, ChargeNet NZ and Masterton District Council.
The official opening, at which Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson and Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott jointly cut the ribbon, celebrates the latest in a growing network of fast chargers that now enables those driving electric vehicles to travel the length of the country with ease.
It is the second charger for Wairarapa, the first having been opened in Featherston in November last year.
‘‘We hope its installation will encourage more people to make the switch to electric vehicles which are cheaper, cleaner and quieter to run than traditional petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles,’’ Eric Pellicer, Powerco Acting General Manager Electricity said.
‘‘With most electric vehicles taking six to eight hours to charge via a domestic power point, one of the challenges until now has been the ability to charge them when away from home, but fast charge stations like this one can charge a vehicle in less than 25 minutes.’’
The Masterton fast charge station is the seventh opened by Powerco and ChargeNet NZ.
Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said: ‘‘It’s fantastic to have this new charge station here in Masterton and Council has been fully supportive ever since the idea was first suggested. Electric vehicles are undoubtedly the way of the future and it won’t be long before we start to see more and more of them, so facilities like this will become essential for our community.’’
Electric vehicle owner Sonia Boyd is waging a one-woman cam- paign to raise awareness about electric vehicles.
Boyd is one of only a handful of electric vehicle owners in Masterton (she only knows of two others).
On an invalid benefit, in a wheelchair and without a garage at her Colombo Road home, Boyd says if she can make the switch to an electric vehicle, anyone can.
Boyd was so passionate that she sold her van and had a power point installed on the exterior of her house.
Her Nissan Leaf can also accommodate her wheelchair, which she attaches to the back.
Charging her car often becomes an exercise in public education, with plenty of questions asked – which she is more than happy to answer.
‘‘I wanted to make a difference to the environment and to my wallet. I am saving about $40 a week, compared to driving a petrol-fuelled car, and I am proud to be doing my bit towards a cleaner, greener future,’’ she said.
EV Charger Launch in Masterton.. Photographed, left to right, are Powerco Acting General Manager Electricity Eric Pellicer, Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson, Powerco Customer Works Manager Mike Hay, Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott and ChargeNet NZ COO Nick Smith.