Australian company to offer free electric vehicle charging in New Zealand
A new competitor is entering the country’s electric vehicle charging network, promising free charging and hoping to shake up the existing monopoly.
Australian company JOLT will start deploying fast chargers from July and plans to roll out 500 chargers in four years.
It wants to challenge ChargeNet’s market dominance and offers seven kilowatts of free charging, which equates to around 40 to 50 kilometers of range.
It will initially partner with building products and home improvement retailer Miter 10 for chargers in its stores, with the first chargers located in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
JOLT’s New Zealand country manager, Chris Monaghan, said it was important for EV drivers to be offered choice.
“It’s a 100% monopoly at the moment.
“When you think of energy as a commodity, EV drivers don’t want to pay through the nose,” Monaghan said.
He said partnering with big box stores would attract customers and believed traditional petrol stations would have to adapt to keep up.
“Their business model is going to fundamentally change. I guess they’ve known that for a while, so these oil operators are looking at ways to expand their retail offering and provide a bit more dwell time while that charge keep on going.
“A lot of electric vehicle drivers, even if they charge at home, they don’t get full consumption at home. So they’ll go out and in their daily trips, they’ll see JOLT, they’ll be fine, there’s a free refill.”
Monaghan said JOLT covers the cost of free charging by selling ads on digital screens built around chargers, similar to bus shelters.
He said free charging also aims to break down barriers to electric vehicle ownership such as cost, access to charging and range anxiety.
JOLT chief executive Doug McNamee said there was strong momentum in the automotive market to switch to an electric vehicle.
“Through our partnerships with major retail brands and the local government of New Zealand, we aim to create an extensive and leading EV charging network that provides the best charging experience for all EV drivers. in New Zealand,” he said.