There are factors that should be considered when assessing the suitability of potential charging stations site.

Typical site locations

Typical site locations for public charging infrastructure include:

  • Off-street parking
  • Parking buildings
  • Retail car parks
  • Service stations
  • Urban main street
  • Rural highway

All of these locations have strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered alongside the proposed purpose of the site.

Assessing the suitability of the site

The following factors should be considering when assessing the suitability of a potential site for public electric vehicle charging infrastructure:

What is the best location for en-route charging stations?

Through traffic

If looking to attract en-route drivers, consider where the site sits within their likely journey patterns.

The Transport Agency has information about traffic volumes, growth and transport infrastructure here.

Rural roads

When setting up sites on rural roads linking major urban centres or destinations, it’s important to consider:

  • the proximity to adjacent roads or alternate routes; and
  • entrance and exit routes.

Other services

Setting up charging stations in areas with established commercial services may be more attractive for investors, as services, such as food outlets, shops or toilets, are likely to encourage greater usage.

What approvals are needed?

Permission to setup and operate a charging station

Early consultation with consenting authorities, including territorial authorities and road controlling authorities, will help inform the process and requirements to gain consent to setup a site.

Refer to Working with authorities to setup a site for further information.

Parking and enforcement

If exclusive electric vehicle parking or areas are provided, the level of exclusivity and enforcement available should be considered. 

Refer to restricting and signposting a site for further information.

What is the impact on the public?

Territorial authorities may have specific requirements for setting up charging stations under their district plan.

Refer to Getting consent to install and operate a charging facility for further information.

General impacts to consider include:


The visual appeal and intrusiveness of a charging station will need to be considered within the environment it is planned for. The aesthetic requirements should be discussed with the local planning authority. 


In high density urban areas, on-street charging stations may impact on already constrained pedestrian space. To ensure minimal additional loss of space, an option is to leverage off, or integrate with, existing roadside facilities.

Impact on other users

Vehicle supply cables can look messy and are a potential hazard to pedestrians or wheeled conveyances, such as wheelchairs and pushchairs. 

The Connectors and socket outlets page recommends that, for slow charge installations, sockets are provided rather than tethered cables as this will minimise the impact to other users when the charging system is not in use.  As fast charging systems require tethered cables, their suitability for on-street locations will be influenced by the amount of space available.

What might the setup and operational costs be?

Installation costs

Depending on the type of charging station being installed, there may be a need for a significant electrical upgrade of the site. An electrical engineer will be able to provide further advice.

In the case of high capacity stations (fast/rapid charge), it is recommended that the relevant lines company is engaged at an early stage to identify the cost of providing and maintaining a point of connection to its network. If the network cannot meet the capacity requirements, the network within the area may need to be upgraded, with the costs passed on to the connecting party.

Electricity costs

If you are connecting to the wiring in an existing premise

  1. the invoiced electricity cost to the owner of the existing premise will increase and this increase and the way it is to be allocated  should be discussed with the owner of the existing premise
  2. the increased capacity required within the existing premise may require changes to its metering installation or the connection or wiring of the existing premise. This should normally be discussed with the owner of the premise and the existing retailer for the premise.

If you are connecting directly to a network you must

  1. pay for the electricity costs and network costs that are relevant to the charger. To do this you will need to either purchase electricity from an existing retailer or purchase electricity directly from the wholesale electricity market¹
  2. discuss metering requirements with the electricity retailer or the metering equipment provider you select. The charger you intend to use will either need to be able to accommodate a meter, or you will need to provide a separate secure enclosure for a meter.
  3. prior to energisation of the charger
    1. obtain connection consent from the network you are connecting to
    2. if you are selling electricity to consumers, you are defined in the Electricity Industry Act 2010 as a retailer, and you must register with the Electricity Authority as a retailer participant

¹For obligations related to purchasing electricity from the wholesale electricity market, refer to the Electricity Authority

Is the site layout suitable for charging stations?

Accommodating different vehicles

Charging connection inlets are located in varying places on different vehicles, so sites with limited layout options may not be able to accommodate the charging requirements of some electric vehicles.  

Off-street parking locations are likely to provide more layout options as more space is available. It is recommended that a wide zone is provided around the vehicle to enable the charging station to connect with multiple vehicle types and orientation requirements.

Positioning a charging station between parks may allow charging access to more than one parking space.

Orientation options

For on-street parking, remember that in New Zealand it is illegal to parallel park on the street facing into on-coming traffic.

It is recommended that car parks for electric vehicle charging are angled at 90 degrees, as this is the easiest way for multiple types of vehicles to charge due to variability and location of inlets on vehicles. 

You may want to engage a traffic engineer or the local road controlling authority to discuss the design.

Protecting the infrastructure from damage

The angle the vehicle approaches the charging station from will influence the risk of damage to the charging station itself.  Any additional buffering around the charging station will add to the amount of space required.

Installing road signs

The ability to market a charging station to users is important, so the ability to install signage at a site should be considered.

Refer to symbols, signs and road markings  for more information about charging station symbols and signposting.

Safety of access

Road layout and traffic flow can increase the likelihood that drivers will make unsafe manoeuvres to access or exit the charging site. Consider the needs of drivers coming from multiple directions to ensure safety of entry and exit.

Disabled and special access

The parking needs of people with disabilities, pregnant women and parents transporting children in car seats need to be considered as part of the charging station and parking layout.

On-road considerations

On-road charging requires the installation of equipment, and the use of cables. on footpaths. These can constrain pedestrian space and mobility, or introduce traffic management and/or personal safety challenges and should be considered.

On-road charging may also be subject to local bylaws and require public consultation.

Off-road considerations

Off-road charging locations generally allow more space and flexibility in terms of layout options and provide greater opportunity to control entry and exit manoeuvring.  Off-road charging is also generally less exposed to vehicle speed, therefore reducing risk.

Would the customer feel safe and at ease while charging?

Safety by design

An assessment of hazards, associated risks and mitigations should be carried out as part of the planning process.


Providing appropriate lighting will make the location more visible, and reduce any perception that personal safety could be at risk while charging.

Weather protection

While charging in the rain is inherently safe, most users do not want to battle the elements in order to charge their car, and ideally shelter should be provided. Regular maintenance to ensure minimal dirt and dust build-up, and to ensure drains are cleared, should be part of the service plan.


Remote charging stations may make a user feel isolated and vulnerable; the more public and visible the station is the safer users will feel about using it.

Providing other services

Providing clean toilets and entertainment facilities for children will make a charging station more attractive for drivers who are travelling with families.

What ongoing operational support is required?

Ensuring availability and reliability

Ensuring continuity of service will be critical to retaining consumers’ confidence that charging stations will be available when and where they are needed.

Monitoring and maintaining charging stations should be carried out regularly. Unreliable facilities will undermine consumer confidence in electric vehicles.

Refer to charging station features for more information on tools for managing availability and reliability.

Providing multiple charging stations on one site is an effective way to support continuity of service.


Vandalism or inappropriate use of the charging system can be dangerous and compromise the reliability of the station. Security solutions, including good lighting, and closed-circuit-television (CCTV), should be considered for off-street and remote sites. Passive-surveillance by nearby pedestrians and drivers can also deter the misuse of the stations, so visibility from roads and walkways should be considered when choosing a site.

Is the site suited to expansion, if required?

Expanding infrastructure

It is important to consider the potential to expand the immediate installation if demand grows in the future. In particular, will there be enough power supply to meet future demand?