How Long Will it Take to Convert All The Petrol Stations in NZ to EV Charging

Published on 03/02/2022


When can we expect this to happen?

When diesel and petrol burning vehicle sales get the old heave-ho in 2035, swiftly followed by the vehicles themselves being banned from our roads by 2050, more than a few New Zealand motorists are wondering how long it will take the current infrastructure to convert?

This question needs to be answered soon. Especially when we sit back and realise that 2035 is only thirteen years into the future. Because what is the point of everyone driving EVs if there are not enough charging stations to go around? There’s nothing worse than a long queue at the forecourt when the person ahead of you in the queue seems like they are enjoying taking their time!

Tough, but achievable

The mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff, says that the council’s set target to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, is achievable, although it will be tough reaching this goal. He was definitely encouraged to make such a statement in part, because a large percentage of road users are buying EVs in record numbers.


Now, all they need are the EV charging stations situated at convenient places around the country to provide the electricity.

Other tough measures to swing consumers in favour of making the change to electrically powered vehicles that have been suggested are:

  • Higher parking fees
  • Costlier road pricing
  • Congestion charges

The New Zealand transport and logistics sector currently produce 47% of all CO2 emissions and over the last 30 years, New Zealand’s domestic transport emissions increased by a whopping 90%.

But in order to service the growing needs of the EV charging station sector, proposals have been made to completely reshape urban areas, move a large sector of the population out of private car travel and into carbon emission controlled forms of public transport, and reduce the pollution of the freight sector.

Because let’s face it, buying a new car, whether it is petrol powered or electricity powered, is a considerable household expense.

Shell leads the way in the UK

As if to apologise for all those oil spills Earth’s oceans have had to deal with over the last one hundred years, Shell has taken us one step closer to the future by opening the first EV charging station in England.

As the first EV charging station specifically built to replace an old petrol station, the conversion has brought a lot of attention to the project. The EV charging station in Fulham, London, features 9 x 175-kW chargers on adjacent sides of the site, with equipment that was made by Tritium.

To any motorist driving past the station, they might think it was an ordinary petrol dispensing site. The forecourt has been laid out in two neat rows of parking spaces. There are overhead canopies to protect motorists from the English weather, and EV drivers can enter the charging spot with their car’s nose first, the same as if it were a parking space.

The one-way lane down the middle of the charging station funnels motorists into a rest stop area where they can choose between an array of amenities and entertainments:

  • Coffee shop
  • Convenience store
  • Lounge area
  • Seating area with WiFi
  • Rest rooms

And that’s just for starters. The charging station operators have their ears to the ground for suggestions about what will make the charging station a better all-round experience for users.

All the little extras

Here’s a list of some of the more outstanding features of the EV charging station in Fulham. The canopies overhanging the charging ports have built-in solar panels. This is only a hint of where the future of EV charging stations is heading, and while these solar panels are not enough to fulfil the charging stations needs, it gives an indication of how easy it will be to access off-grid power. At the moment, the charging station gains most of its electricity straight off the grid, but it is possible that when every surrounding building is geared toward using some kind of zero emission energy source, the charging station will be able to access that instead.

Are user-friendly EV charging stations a possibility in New Zealand soon?

The good news is yes. The Shell charging station has proven that it is possible to adapt a fossil fuel dispensing petrol station into an EV charging station. At the moment, it takes a 175k-W charger 10 minutes to bring an EV from 0% to around 80% - just enough time to order a cup of coffee and use the amenities. That puts an EV charging station on a par with even the busiest petrol stations.

Shell executives have summed up the EV charging station nicely:

If the charging experience is not fast and convenient, it will not win over the new emerging EV motorist market. Besides ease and speed, the EV driver wants to be comfortable during their stop and that means less queuing at the chargers and inside the shops and amenities.

The Shell charging station in Fulham is so much more than an experiment to test out the transition from a petrol station to a charging station. It is a chance for petroleum-based providers to pivot away from the old and embrace the new and the opportunity to change petrol users’ minds over to EVs forever. Part of the seamless changeover to electricity powered vehicles is fully functional, comfortable, and convenient charging stations on every corner.

The answer is - the changeover from petrol stations to charging stations will go hand in hand with the car buying public’s preferences

If Shell is looking at expanding its growing network of charging stations over the next few years, this will go hand in hand with New Zealand's phasing out of petrol fueled cars. This couldn’t come at a better time, and it might be all the car buying public needs to drive the market over the next few years toward EVs-only.

There are so many incentives to buy an electric vehicle besides the deadline set by the government. And having a friendly neighbourhood charging station on the corner of your street is definitely one of them.

There is a growing network of companies driving the boom in recharging site forecourt construction. Now, it is no longer a case of wondering if there is enough solar power to charge all the EVs on the road, but how fast the recharging stations can be built nationally to handle the surge in on-road EVs.

Because of New Zealand’s great infrastructure, you can look forward to an on-street recharging network appearing around homes and businesses near you as the EV ownership population increases.

There are many EV charging solutions available for homes and businesses. And for those of you who were worried about the convenience of the forecourt station being denied to you because of your vehicle, it is guaranteed that the growth of electric vehicle sales and the construction of new or newly converted charging stations will grow together.

If the date for petrol fuelled vehicles to leave our streets forever has been set for 2050, you can bet that refuelling stations will join the rush to changeover.