Z Energy’s EV charging roll-out
July 6, 2023
Charging an electric vehicle (EV) is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to Z Energy (Z) expanding its on-the-go charging network. By the end of this year, Z plans to have EV chargers available at 20 percent of its service stations across Aotearoa, making journeys smoother for EV drivers no matter where they’re headed.
“Charging an EV should be as simple as filling your car up with petrol,” says Z’s head of EV charging, Kieran Turner. “This roll-out is our commitment to EV drivers. It’s us saying, ‘We want to make the charging experience as good as possible’. We’ve always said we’ll support customers in how they move around Aotearoa, and this is part of that. We’re in it for the long haul.”
With EV chargers planned for nearly 40 different sites, Z aims to not only make the experience a pleasant one – with large bays into which drivers can more easily charge their EVs – but also to reduce anxiety for EV drivers. Kieran says one of the barriers to EV ownership is range anxiety – the fear of running out of charge on a long drive and being unable to find a charging point.
“If you have an EV, a lot of planning goes into journeys at the moment. Drivers are having to spend a lot of time before they set off looking up where charging locations are and planning where they’ll stop,” says Kieran.
“Our goal is to take that angst away and say, ‘You don’t need to worry about it’. Z intends to have sites all around the country where you can charge’. This is about giving people confidence. We want it to be as easy to find a charger as it is to find a petrol station.”
And Z is also committed to improving the charging experience for EV drivers. Chargers will be easy to spot and simple to use, with drivers having access to all the offerings of the usual service station experience.
“You should know what you’re going to get when you get there. Great coffee, toilets, quality food options – not to mention being able to charge in an area that is well-lit and safe at night. We’re also working towards installing canopies and shelter in the future, so that people stay dry while they’re charging their EV.”
As demand for EV charging grows, Z aims to meet this, with its highest-use service stations likely to have three or four charging bays to ensure queuing is kept to a minimum.
Kieran says there are two strands to Z’s EV charger roll-out. Chargers will be installed in urban areas for drivers who are unable to charge at home or for those who need an on-the-go top-up. But the big focus is on creating and connecting key transport networks, ensuring that EV drivers can travel the length of the country with the ability to charge along the way.
And Kieran is optimistic that the visibility and ease of Z’s EV chargers will encourage others to make the transition to a low carbon vehicle.
“Z’s values around sustainability absolutely link into our EV charger plans. It’s a significant investment and commitment in our work to help New Zealanders transition to a low carbon future. We’re here for the long haul to help our customers as they make that transition.”