Vector, New Zealand’s largest electricity distributor, has today welcomed the Government’s proposed plan to encourage more New Zealanders into electric vehicles (EVs) using price incentives.
Vector has for many years engaged with local and central Governments to highlight the crucial role electricity distribution businesses will play in enabling EV uptake.
Vector’s Chief Networks Officer Andre Botha said, “Some fast EV chargers installed in residential homes can add the equivalent of seven houses to the electricity grid, so we have known for some time that surging EV uptake will put unprecedented pressure on the country’s electricity networks - particularly if people arrive home at the end of a typical work day and start charging their cars at the same time.
“With half of the country’s EVs owned by Auckland residents, Vector has proactively embraced an innovative, technology-led approach to network management and planning to prepare the city for the rise of EVs, and other emerging energy system challenges.
“Our goal is to ensure the next set of policy and regulatory decisions gives us the certainty we need to continue to make smart investment decisions that benefit our customers now and in the future.”
Vector is currently trialling multiple 50 kilowatt (kW) rapid EV chargers across the city to cater to the region’s growing fleet of EVs and to build understanding of how charging technology interacts and impacts on the electricity network.
It has also invested in software management systems to help reduce the impact residential EV chargers have on peak demand, and is exploring the potential of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and Vehicle to Home (V2H) chargers.
Andre adds, “Left unaddressed, EV uptake could have large cost implications for consumers if the network needs to be reinforced and could even eventuate in physical constraints on the network which could prevent customers from charging their EVs at home. By building an intelligent electricity network we can better facilitate EV uptake and incentivise behaviour to better manage demand peaks.”
For more information on Vector’s contribution to the evolving discussion around electric vehicle adoption, see our EV Network Integration green paper.