Waikato Regional Council is leading a strategy for greater collaboration between district councils as they face the challenge of providing better electric vehicle charging facilities.
“The uptake of electric vehicles is already increasing rapidly, and so it’s essential that the charging infrastructure is planned across the Waikato region in a coordinated way to meet this new demand”, said Denis Tegg, Thames-Coromandel constituent member on the Waikato Regional Council and deputy chair of the council’s Climate Action Committee.
“At the moment each District Council is dealing with this challenge on a piecemeal basis, so the Regional Council saw the need for greater collaboration and coordination”.
“District councils also recognise the benefit of sharing knowledge so that each council is not ‘reinventing the wheel’”, said Councillor Tegg.
“This is why myself and Cr Jennifer Nickel who chairs the Climate Action Committee have started a working group of district councillors and staff throughout the region to plan a more strategic approach,” he said. The group has met once, and regular meetings are planned.
Presently each council is separately dealing with electric vehicle charging companies, so there is a need for a more consistent approach relating to the allocation of space and agreements with those companies.
“An area where collaboration makes a lot of sense is how to plug gaps in the EV charging network across local authority boundaries. Another is better planning rules to encourage on-street charging for owners and occupiers who do not have off-street parking and access to home electricity for their EV.”
“Most EV owners do over 90 per cent of their electric vehicle charging at home but it’s those longer trips when well-spaced-out fast chargers are really needed,” said Tegg. “Having many slower destination chargers where people shop or work and where a longer top-up is an option is also important.”.
“We are also keen to hear from the public if they have any ideas about suitable places to locate EV chargers, or to otherwise improve the experience for owners of electric vehicles”.
Thames-Coromandel constituent member on Waikato Regional Council
View a map of charging stations