The number and exact location of electric vehicles across our network is largely unknown. This makes it hard to know what impact EVs currently have on our network, particularly during times of peak electricity demand.
It also makes it difficult to predict growth and to explore services EVs can possibly offer our network. This could include load control (where the electricity network dials down or turns off some equipment; for EVs, we will reduce the charging rate) or vehicle to grid (V2G) where the car battery is discharged back to the network to increase resilience.
Link to our glossary
To find out the number and location of electric vehicles to understand their impact on the electricity network and how they will shape our energy future.
Powerco has been running an EV residential charging programme since 2016. As part of this, we’ve been gaining insights from members of our Powerco team who have been driving electric vehicles from our corporate fleet to help us understand how they charge at home and at work. We also have a commercial EV charging programme where we work with organisations to understand their EV charging needs. In both cases, we install monitoring equipment on the network and use the data we gather to inform our future planning.
In 2020, we launched the Future Energy Survey to understand the ways Kiwis are changing their energy use in response to emerging technologies, including EVs. We will also open our residential charging programme to the community to increase the scale of our learnings. We want to hear first-hand from Kiwis about their EV experience, including when they charge, how long for and how we can enable them to decarbonise their energy needs and become more energy efficient.
Understanding EV growth and its impact on our network enables us to ensure there is enough capacity to host New Zealand’s growing EV fleet and helps to forecast what changes we’ll need to make to our electricity network to transition to a lower carbon future. In addition, it allows us to explore what kinds of services EVs can offer to the grid.
We’ll share our insights from this project with New Zealand’s wider energy industry; we participate in Drive Electric, the Electricity Network Association’s Smart Technology Working Group and contribute to industry conferences and research on a regular basis.
Future Energy Survey
First EV Vehicle
We strive to minimise impact in the design and placement of network infrastructure and we’re still planning and consulting on the route for the new circuit. The circuit will be a mix of overhead lines – which you will see, and underground cable – which you won’t see. You’ll also see a new building at our Putaruru substation, replacing the ageing existing building there.
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We like to get feedback from our customers so please share your thoughts.