Powered parks for the privileged? Wellington City Council moots EV carparks for the suburbs


A plan to install electric vehicle charging stations at the request of individual Wellington car owners could create "privileged parking".
Wellington City Council is proposing a trial of charging stations in 18 suburban streets, and one at Wellington Zoo, to service some of the 750 electric vehicle (EV) owners in the city.
The "medium speed" chargers will take three to six hours to charge an EV car, such as a Nissan Leaf, and there will be no time limit on parking.
City councillors raised concerns of favouring EV owners at a city strategy meeting on Monday.

Councillor Brian Dawson said the proposal effectively took carparks away from everyone, except EV car owners.

"Essentially those people who requested them are going to use them as their private car parks."
Councillor Peter Gilberd, who holds the natural environment portfolio, questioned how much turnover there would be, "given that people are away during the day or can't get up in the middle of the night to change over".
"At most you could expect to see two charges per spot ... this is really a privileged parking spot for EV owners.
"I really wonder about the long-term sustainability of this model."

Proposed streets include Boundary Rd, Kelburn; Holloway Rd and Epuni St, Aro Valley; Miramar North Rd, Miramar; two locations on Coromandel St, Newtown; and Austin St, in Mount Victoria.
Submitters on the 19 sites were largely in favour, with 687 supporting the proposed site and 95 objecting.
Councillor Iona Pannett said the streets of Brooklyn were steep and narrow, possibly poorly suited to such parks.
"We've got one person saying they want one, and that's where we put it? Generally that's not the way we do planning."
A quarter of the cost would be covered by $88,000 the council has earmarked for 25 residential EV sites.
Half would be funded by the Government's low emission vehicles investment fund, and the remainder 25 per cent funded by operator ChargeNet NZ.
High-speed chargers would encroach on footpath space, were not compatible with the electricity supply of suburban streets, and could damage car batteries if used exclusively.
Each charging station would charge two vehicles, taking up two parks, at a cost of 30c per kilowatt-hour.
The council's sustainability manager, Tom Pettit, said streets where residents had requested charging stations, on the basis they would buy EV vehicles, were chosen to ensure the facility would be immediately used.
On Aro Valley's Holloway Rd, four people in a stretch of about 10 homes had asked for a charging station, "that's why we're going to run a trial there".
Time limits on the parks may have them sitting unused some of the time, affecting the overall parking capacity of a street.
Any issues could be addressed after the trial period, he said.
The proposal was supported by mayor Justin Lester.
"We've got, per capita, the highest usage of ownership of EVs in the entire country now. We've got growing demand ... If we do nothing, nothing will change?"
Councillors will vote on the proposal on Thursday.
Wellington currently has five high-speed chargers, and about five slower chargers available to the public.
A quarter of the capital's 71,000 homes are without garages or carports needed to charge vehicles.
Bank Rd, Northland; Rodney St, Northland; Boundary Rd, Kelburn; Holloway Rd, Aro Valley; Epuni St, Aro Valley; Miramar North Rd, Miramar; Hornsey Rd, Melrose; Jackson St, Island Bay; Melbourne Rd, Island Bay; Mersey St, Island Bay; 66 and 4 Coromandel St, Newtown; Karepa St, Brooklyn; Bruce Av, Brooklyn; Stanley St, Berhampore; Hall St, Newtown; Austin St, Mt Victoria; Manchester St, Newtown - Wellington Zoo.