Smart EV charging put to the test in New Zealand first

With the Interim Climate Change Commission calling for the electrification of up to half our national vehicle fleet by 2035, and almost half of those expected to be in Auckland, Vector and Auckland residents have embarked on a trial to test smart technology that could help manage the change. This is the first time a trial of this nature and scale has been conducted in New Zealand.

120 EV users across Auckland have signed up to participate in the trial, in which Vector has installed a 7kW smart EV charger at each participant’s home.

The trial, which was launched by Hon. Phil Twyford, Minister of Transport and MP for Te Atatu, will last for up to 18 months, during which time Vector will work together with participants to collect data on their EV charging preferences and better understand how smart EV charging can satisfy their expectations.

The trial will also determine if optimising EV charging schedules could help alleviate peak demands on the network, a key benefit of which could include avoiding the need to invest in expensive network infrastructure upgrades.

Vector Group CEO, Simon Mackenzie said, “EVs present a large opportunity for New Zealand to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy security and improve air quality. However, if uptake is left unmanaged, the distribution network will start to become constrained and require costly reinforcement.”