GREEN SPECIAL: Incredibly fast hyperchargers land in NZ
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ChargeNetNZhas installed dual 300kW “Hyper Chargers” just south of Auckland, the fastest publicly available Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) chargers in New Zealand.
Supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) through round six of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, the stations are at the motorway service centre at Bombay at the end of Auckland’s Southern Motorway.
What does 300kW mean in practical terms? Most DC fast-charging stations in NZ to date have been 50kW (including those on ChargeNet’s nationwide network), so the new installation is six times more powerful.
Sadly, that doesn’t mean your EV will charge six times as fast, because there isn’t yet a vehicle on the NZmarket capable of charging at that rate. But it does mean an EV can now charge at the maximum rate it’s capable of — which varies from model to model.
The new Porsche Taycan can charge at up to 270kW, while new Tesla vehicles can accept up to 250kW (the Tesla-specific “Supercharger” network in NZ is 120kW).
The Audi e-tron GT arriving in 2021 will allow a full 350kW, while the Hyundai Kona Electric is capable of 80kW.
Actual charge rates depend on many different factors, including how depleted the battery is when plugging it in. But Porsche famously claims that you can add 100km of range to a Taycan in just five minutes with the right charging conditions.
Owners need to subscribe to ChargeNet to use its network. The chargers are activated by a swipe card or app and users pay for the power delivered: 60c per kWh for the hyper chargers, dropping to 35c when the power drops below 35kW.
Ordinarily there’s also a charge for the time parked at ChargeNet machines, although this has not been applied to the hyper chargers thus far. Each of the two new stations at Bombay can charge two vehicles, plus a third using a conventional CHAdeMO connection at 62kW — so a total of six vehicles simultaneously.
It’s about future-proofing. ChargeNet says the Hyper Chargers “will allow EV drivers to quickly add hundreds of kilometres of driving range in the short time it takes to stop for lunch and a coffee... the newest generation of EVs [will] add 300km of charge in only 10 minutes.”
The most recent round of the EECA fund distributed $3.2 million of government co-funding to low emissions vehicle projects. Round seven will assist in the installation of another two hyper chargers in Taupo, while round eight will assist with seven more in four locations: Kaiwaka, Bulls, Christchurch and North Shore, Auckland.
Audi NZ is leading the way with its dealership charging infrastructure this month, adding to the existing 10 50kW chargers and one 175kW fast charger fitted across Audi authorised dealers nationwide.
The 50kW ABB Terra 54 chargers deliver a full 400km charge in two hours, while a 175kW ABB Terra HP charger, at Auckland’s Giltrap Audi, enables the e-tron 55 to charge to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.