Z Energy and Red Phase innovate on-the-go EV charging
EV Charging September 7, 2023
Z Energy (Z) – the country’s largest fuel retailer – has partnered with the rapidly growing Kiwi company Red Phase Technologies (Red Phase) to bring new ultra-fast EV chargers to the forecourt, as it continues to support customers shifting to low emission vehicles. Together they hope to build the country’s EV fast charging capacity quicker.
With the support of EECA and Powerco, two Red Phase EV chargers, each capable of delivering up to 200kW of power, are being piloted at Z Waiouru and will become available to Z app customers from Friday 8 September.
Red Phase is making innovative technology that allows the chargers to manage their power output efficiently and reduce grid load. What this means is the EV that's on charge gets the right amount of power specific to their vehicle, giving customers the fastest and most efficient charge possible.
Z is already in the process of building a network of on-the-go, work and home EV charging infrastructure across Aotearoa, says Z’s Head of EV Charging, Kieran Turner.
“We’re leveraging our existing well-established Z service station sites and plan to have EV chargers at 20 percent of these sites by the end of this year. We’ve also launched a home electricity offer targeted specifically for EV drivers and are working with our business customers on providing charging solutions for the workplace.
“We believe partnering with others on this same journey to a low carbon Aotearoa will help us move at scale and pace. Red Phase offer a solution that is unique to the New Zealand market and will enable us to roll out high powered multi-bay sites without relying on costly network upgrades that can add significant time to the installation of EV infrastructure.
“This technology enables us to overcome one of the barriers we face as a charging provider scaling up its EV infrastructure for customers across the country. It means we could offer fast charging at sites sooner than we currently have planned. This pilot will ensure we can test and enhance the technology before rolling it out to other Z sites across the country,” continues Kieran.
Red Phase are just as excited about this partnership.
Dr Robert Turner, the CTO of Red Phase, explained, "In simple terms, we've built new tech that improves the power grid. This is a hard problem to solve, but we’re making breakthroughs at record speed. We aim to be the best in the business and set the standard for others to follow." Red Phase, established in 2021 in Dr Turner's garage, has deep roots in expert engineering. Alongside fellow founders Dustin Murdock and Mike Lazelle, Dr Turner emphasised, "Together, we're tackling the challenges of ultra-fast charging for electric vehicles on our power grids. Joining with Z to integrate our groundbreaking technology is a milestone," Dr Turner added. "The current power grids are feeling the strain of rapid EV charging. We're also grateful for the support from Powerco, showing industry leadership in this pilot project. As electric vehicles become more popular worldwide, there's a need for new technology. Red Phase is dedicated to shaping what that future looks like”.
Red Phase's CEO, Dustin Murdock, said, "Teaming up with Z, Powerco, and EECA is a game-changer for New Zealand's electric vehicle scene. After seeing slow progress in EV charging for a while, our tech is set to revolutionise how cars are charged in Aotearoa. We're pushing forward at a time when people are worried about how far they can go and how long it takes to charge. This is going to help with the adoption of EV’s and we're excited about what's coming, and we’re ready to lead the way."
Z assures customers they won’t be caught short if the Red Phase chargers have to be taken offline to be adjusted throughout this pilot.
“We may need to bring the Red Phase chargers offline throughout the pilot as we make changes based on the learnings and feedback we get from our customers. It is important customers aren’t caught short as we make enhancements, so we’ve got an additional two EV charging bays available at Z Waiouru separate to this pilot.”
The pilot will continue through September, at which time an additional two Red Phase chargers will be installed to bring even more capacity to the site.