Call for Government to allow EV chargers in public spaces

Public facilities should be made available to companies that want to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers, said Alex Reddaway, owner and director of Leaf Capital Fiji, a pioneer in Fiji’s fledgling EV market.
The Switch Network company founder and chief executive officer, Alex Reddaway

Call for Government to allow EV chargers in public spaces

Public facilities should be made available to companies that want to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers, said Alex Reddaway, owner and director of Leaf Capital Fiji, a pioneer in Fiji’s fledgling EV market.

Calling for more government support in the EV space, Mr Reddaway said the lack of it would kill any transition into what could potentially be a major cost saving opportunity for consumers and for the country.

“I am calling for government to do more to open up publicly owned facilities such as council car parks, road reserves, etc, to companies wanting to invest in EV chargers,” he said.

“This includes SOEs such as Fiji Airports and others. The government is a key stakeholder in this transition and can play a key role in helping us make green mobility possible, but so far we have had to work exclusively with private sector partners.”

Leaf Capital is currently building Fiji’s first user-pay EV fast-charging infrastructure under its SWITCH Network trade name.

However, it has only been able to install the chargers in business premises, such as Kundan Singh supermarket and Mana Coffee in Suva and RB Jet Point in Nadi.

“We have approached a number of councils about supporting the transition and we have had no response whatsoever. Specifically we have presented Suva City Council with three different proposals,” Mr Reddaway said.

While car dealers have begun to import EVs equipped with chargers for home charging, its growth on Fiji roads will significantly depend on the availability of public super chargers, which can boost battery power to 100 per cent in less than an hour for 150 kilometer capacity as opposed to four hours of charging at home.

SWITCH Network is the only company currently installing super chargers.

“We need more opportunities to install chargers so people trust in the infrastructure,” said Mr Reddaway.

He is also hopeful that government will maintain existing support mechanisms for the EV market, such as VAT-free and rebate “until we have a minimum number of EVs on the road that will prove viability and support budding charging industries”.

A cost analysis exercise carried out by SWITCH Network on an EV taxi it imported last year found that the taxi used an equivalent of 7.5c/km compared to 22-30c for petrol vehicles.

This, however, varies depending on the type of battery used by the vehicle.

https://www.fijitimes.com/call-for-government-to-allow-ev-chargers-in-public-spaces/

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