Northpower has been recognised in the 2016 EECA Awards for its role in encouraging and supporting the take-up of electric vehicles.
The electricity distribution company was highly commended by judges in the transport category of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority Awards at a ceremony in Auckland last week.
Northpower spokesman Steve Macmillan welcomed the award, saying it was recognition of the company's commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) in Northland.
"From our perspective we're really proud Northland has the highest uptake by region for the whole country."
He said New Zealand has around 1200 EVs with nearly 100 of those based in Northland.
"When we set up the first fast charge unit back in 2014 we hoped it would be the start of establishing growth in a new and clean transport."
Northpower has led the charge to promote the use of electric vehicles in Northland, establishing its first standard charger at its head office in Whangarei. After installing standard chargers in various Northland sites, the company established the country's first EV fast charge station in Whangarei in May 2014.
The company has collaborated with Charge Net NZ, which is in the process of installing a rapid charge network around the country.
Charge Net NZ won the top award in recognition of its work on the network of rapid chargers, including four throughout Northland.
Northpower has also led by example, importing EVs for its own use, lending them to other organisations for promotional purposes.
The company realised early on that the cost of EVs was a problem so it sourced cars cheaply from overseas, finding a supplier of ready-to-drive, low-mileage Nissan Leafs at around a third of the New Zealand list price of a new Leaf.
Northpower continues to promote the use of EVs by demonstrating them at community and commercial events.
"They have made a big impact on their region," said EECA Awards head judge Ralph Sims.
"They are spreading an important message in a creative, committed and holistic way, and the results are tangible."
The EECA Awards honoured winners in 10 categories for a range of projects across business, community and the public sector. Held every two years, the awards celebrate organisations and individuals that demonstrate excellence in energy efficiency and renewable energy.