Hamilton City Council is partnering with Hikotron on a two-year trial project.
More options for convenient targeted electric vehicle (EV) charging locations in Hamilton are on their way for local and visiting EV drivers.
Hamilton City Council is partnering with Hamilton-based company, Hikotron, on a two-year trial project that will see the installation of seven-kilowatt AC electric vehicle (EV) chargers at seven key locations in the city. This initiative supports the council’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions in the transport network and provide more convenience and choice for EV drivers and visitors to the city’s attractions.
Dual-socket chargers will be installed at Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo, Garden Place carpark, Sonning Place carpark and Eastlink Sport Hub.
Two dual-socket chargers will also be installed at the Rotokauri Transport Hub, and three dual-socket chargers will be installed at Claudelands Events Centre. The first chargers to be rolled out will be located at Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo, Garden Place carpark, Rotokauri Transport Hub and Sonning Place carpark.
Hikotron director Stephanie Smits O’Callaghan said Hikotron’s chargers and mobile app have been designed and built in New Zealand, based on proven European AC Type 2 socket infrastructure, which is recommended by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for public AC EV chargers in New Zealand.
“We’ve already installed several charging sites in the Waikato,” said Smits O’Callaghan.
“In partnership with Mercury Energy, we’re aiming to have 500 public charge points nationwide by 2026, with more to come after that. We’re looking forward to working with Hamilton City Council on this project, helping to improve infrastructure in our home city – it’s a place we’re very passionate about!”
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate was pleased to see additional electric vehicle infrastructure being rolled out across the city.
“I am delighted to see the chargers up and running in key locations,” said Mayor Southgate.
“As I drive my own EV around the city, it’s wonderful to know that there will be more opportunities for me to top-up. I hope it will encourage even more people to consider purchasing their own EV.”
Deputy Mayor and chairwoman of the Infrastructure and Transport Committee, Angela O’Leary, said the initiative recognises the need to increase the city’s EV charging network for residents, businesses, and visitors alike.
“These types of initiatives also help us to shape a green city that’s easy to live in and one where people and businesses can thrive in a sustainable way,” said O’Leary.
“If we want to see more people travelling by EV, it’s important that owning and driving an EV in Hamilton is an easy, reliable and convenient choice.”
The AC chargers yield about 45 kilometres of range for each hour of charging time. While slower than the fast-charging DC EV chargers currently available in and around Hamilton, there is more flexibility and choice with the Hikotron stations due to a cable-locking feature. This means people are free to do other things while the vehicle is charging, without having to keep it in sight.
“Most EV owners living in Hamilton slowly charging their vehicles overnight at home won’t often need to use DC chargers in the city,” said O’Leary.
“However, EV drivers commuting from neighbouring towns or districts can either use a DC charger while at the supermarket before heading home, or use an AC charger while attending an event or visiting one of the city’s visitor destinations.”
Convenience and utility is why some of the ideal public spaces for AC EV chargers are in and around retail, hospitality, business hubs, apartment buildings, master-planned communities, off-street parking sites and community facilities.
Hamilton City Council’s project with Hikotron is part of a wider regional council collaboration (with support from Waka Kotahi NZTA) focusing on increasing the network of EV chargers throughout Waikato. Participating councils include the Waikato Regional Council, Waipā, Waikato, Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako District Councils.
The downloadable Hikotron app can be used to plan your journey, find, and use charging stations, check their availability, monitor charging progress while your vehicles are plugged in, and make payments. It’ll also notify you when charging is complete. Find out more at hikotron.com and view the app video at youtube.com/shorts/OTg6ExwwoWQ.