The Warehouse has begun installing electric vehicle charging stations at a number of its stores in the South Island.

The retailer already has two EV charging stations at its Auckland support office in Northcote, and one in Albany. Now Invercargill will be the first South Island store to get an electric vehicle charging station, and 20 others are planned as part of its environmental sustainability commitment.

Charging stations will be free to use for at least six months, after that a nominal charge of less than $1 will kick in, The Warehouse environment general manager Greg Nelson said.

The project is part-funded by the Government's Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.


"It's awesome that we're able to utilise our scale to support the EV infrastructure in New Zealand and we hope that it encourages more New Zealand motorists to consider an electric vehicle," Nelson said.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) , which administers the fund, welcomed The Warehouse's lead to support electric vehicles.

"This project, and the promotion of it by the Warehouse, will make EV charging infrastructure highly visible to large numbers of shoppers and that will give confidence to consumers thinking about buying an electric vehicle," ECCA chief executive Andrew Caseley said.

Over the next seven months charging stations will be installed at The Warehouse stores in Gore, Dunedin, Blenheim, Motueka, Oamaru, Timaru, Christchurch, Hamilton, Matamata, Taupo, Gisborne, Levin, New Plymouth, Masterton, Te Kuiti, Hawera, Porirua, and Palmerston North, and will be set up at designated parking spaces at the front of the stores, capable of charging two vehicles at a time.

Suzanne Miller, an Invercargill-based The Warehouse employee who drives a Nissan Leaf, said she was delighted to soon have a charging station at her local store.

"It's great to know that many towns I go to with a Warehouse will have a charger."

The Warehouse is one of several New Zealand businesses committed to having 30 per cent of its vehicle fleet electric by the end of 2019.