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Electricity network companies lead the way in electric mobility with OpenLoop
Driving and charging EVs between Auckland and Waikato just became a lot easier with the introduction of a new service. Counties Power and WEL Networks have today announced an industry-leading initiative to each offer OpenLoop, an open EV charging platform and app that enables a seamless recharging experience across various EV charging locations. The neighbouring electricity distributors will each offer OpenLoop across their regions with an initial 40 chargers in Southern Auckland and Waikato. While both companies are leading the way with the adoption of this new technology, it is also available to all other network companies and EV drivers.
The network providers’ aim is to improve energy affordability, ease of use and environmental sustainability through the offering of a creative and innovative new service. The initiative is a strong example of the network sector promoting the environment and providing leading edge technology to prepare distribution networks for electric transport through smarter energy management.
Counties Power Chief Executive Judy Nicholl says the initiative demonstrates how electricity distribution companies can pave the way for the electricity industry and ultimately unlocks greater benefits for consumers.
“We’re excited that along with WEL Networks, we can offer a seamless, customer-centric EV charging service for our regions that will benefit EV drivers and EV charger owners. This benefits EDBs and customers and is a strong demonstration of our commitment as EDBs to work for the best outcome for our consumers. With this approach, we’re able to offer EV users a simpler, better way to incorporate EV charging into their lives, promote greater uptake of EVs responsibly and develop standards for smarter electricity distribution and flexible energy management – benefiting end-consumers, the environment and New Zealand at large.”
“OpenLoop offers EV users a choice in the market, something we know is a positive for the customer from a service and price perspective. Great service and innovative pricing models will ensure a fair and transparent charging process that encourages greater use of EVs going forward. With plans to add more EV chargers, the OpenLoop platform will allow an open, cost effective billing system for other EDBs and EV charger owners who would like to generate greater value through the growing ecosystem.”
WEL Networks Chief Executive Garth Dibley says the initiative provides them with the ability to offer the region a superior service.
“As a consumer-owned EDB, OpenLoop presents an opportunity to deliver charging cost effectively to EV users, while also creating sustainability outcomes which benefit our community. Here at WEL Networks we have a large portfolio of chargers and the OpenLoop platform is a tech-savvy cloud-based solution for managing them, but more importantly, it’s extremely user-friendly for the customer. This is a smart and simple solution that ticks all the boxes for fast, hassle-free and cost-effective charging. We look forward to piloting the platform across the WEL network with more than 700 EV owners.”
While the initial OpenLoop launch is across the Counties Power and WEL Networks regions, discussions are underway with network companies around the country who will launch their own customer-centric EV charging service via OpenLoop within their regions.
OpenLoop app users will have a live view of available EV charging stations nearby, be able to pay for EV charger use and keep track of EV charging history via the app. There’s no need to even touch the charger aside from plugging it in to your vehicle – the app does it all for you.
OpenLoop is a service developed by Wellington-based firm, ECL Group. The app service on WEL Networks and Counties Power EV chargers will commence on 17th June.
The free OpenLoop app is available via app stores. More information on OpenLoop can be found at www.openloop.co.nz.
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