Home » February 2024 » Currently Reading:

EV charger/s needed in tourist town Martinborough?

February 13, 2024 February 2024 No Comments

Trickle-down EV charging doesn’t cut it in a tourism centre.

More than 101,000 electric cars _ EVs _ drive New Zealand roads, with more and more coming down the pipe _ or over the hill as EV-driving visitors add to the growing numbers of local electric carss.

Local business is already finding limitations, with no public charging units in Martinborough, the closest in Featherston, with up to two designated for installation – but not in place – in Greytown.

Carterton’s car park has four.

The problems faced locally boil down primarily to power infrastructure.

The power load drawn by a single Tesla, Leaf, Ioniq, BYD, MG or Peugeot which is on trickle charging may be fine – but the present power system can “flip its fuse” if two of the above try charging at the same time. 

Let alone the prospect of installing a fast charger for public use on a basic infrastructure system currently unable to supply the electric juice. The State Highway 2 infrastructure “corridor” has those necessary facilities.

At the Top 10 Holiday Park in Martinborough, trickle-down is the only option, with the electric infrastructure unable to supply at the power demand levels needed for even two Teslas to charge simultaneously. 

It just took a couple of Teslas charging on the same power supply to blow the camp’s fuses last year, said camp ground owner Lisa Cornelissen.

Now the campground has “rules and conditions in place” that people need to abide by if the fusebox is to remain functional, she told The Star. 

“An EV draws more power and it draws it constantly. So if you’ve got a camper-van and plug it in, they might draw more power occasionally if the kettle’s on and the heater’s on and they’re watching TV. But an EV draws that level of power constantly over time.”

There are options for upgrading the local power infrastructure, ranging from a load-balanced charger to a more expensive upgrade (“$50,000 to $80,000” said Cornelissen) – cost likely beyond local business-owners and something which is the bailiwick of Powerco, the power infrastructure provider for the area. And for generator/retailers, like Meridian and Genesis – with the latter having a power project already under way in the South Wairarapa.

South Wairarapa District Council hasn’t been able to install one at its Martinborough office _ the nearby power transformer isn’t up to it.

James O’Connor, district council Manager, Partnerships and Operations, said investigations have shown there is no excess electricity capacity at council locations to meet power requirements for EV charging units..

“To get the infrastructure there means upgrades to transformers, cables and everything.”

Other locations “like round the Square, which look ideal … don’t have any (power) infrastructure around them.”

He confirmed council is getting a lot of feedback and inquiries about whether/when charging stations may be available. The one charging station in Featherston already “has queues out the carpark” of EVs waiting to recharge.

“It makes sense for us to have more (charging stations) in South Wairarapa. It’s on the radar and we’re keeping a close eye on what’s coming out of central government.” 

The government has committed to increase the public charging network from 1,200 chargers to 10,000 across the country by 2030. Transport Minister Simeon Brown last week reaffirmed that commitment, noting “rolling out 10,000 public chargers is about addressing this (range anxiety) concern for those who are considering buying an EV.” Industry heads are querying whether it has thought about the need to upgrade power systems to improve charging and network capacity at local level to support the added demand. 

Comment on this Article:



Golf clubhouse fundraising builds up

An amazing fundraising day for the new clubhouse was held on April 19 when 34 teams took to the course in an ambrose tournament. The winners on the day with net 54.87 were Taylor Dewis, Robbie Robinson, Tom de Groen and Liam Richardson.  The longest drive for men went to …

Women’s football team in Green, Black and … Pink strip

Martinborough Football Club has unveiled a vibrant new palette of green, black and pink with the introduction of a women’s team, marking a significant milestone for the club. The rise of interest in women’s football, fueled by events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, highlighted the demand for local opportunities. …

New golf clubhouse build, fund-raising up and running

Martinborough golf’s new clubhouse build is well under way _ as are fundraising efforts. It doesn’t seem long since we watched the demolition of the old clubhouse and now the frames for half the new building are in place with scaffolding up ready for the roof timbers. Everything is going …

Regular Features


Pain Farm Estate Future Public Meeting hosted by: Martinborough Community Board  Date: Wednesday 15 May  …

From the Acting Mayor

By Melissa Sadler-Futter It’s great to be able to connect with you through The Star …

Martinborough Community Noticeboard

This new Noticeboard is to list Martinborough community groups and activities. The goal: provide a location …

ARATOI: Jane Sinclair – Quiet Observations

Masterton painter Jane Sinclair has finally finished painting new works for her upcoming exhibition Quiet …

The Star Book Review

By Brenda Channer In 2020, during lockdown, did you drag a chair to the end …

News from First Church

If you should find yourself driving semi-aimlessly up the east coast on the Ponatahi or …

Martinborough fire season still controlled

The FIRE SEASON has moved to RESTRICTED, meaning a permit is required for most fires …

Recent Comments