Master­ton pow­ers into the fu­ture

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

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.

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