19 July 2024

Hamilton gets locally designed smart EV charging station for public use

A locally designed and manufactured smart EV charging solution, Hikotron has just been launched and made available for public use at Waikato Innovation Park.

Hikotron chargers are operated through a mobile application which enables users to locate the charger, start and stop the charge, monitor how much power is being drawn while charging and make payment. The users can use the same mobile application for all the chargers on the Hikotron public network.

Charging station in city
Hikotron chargers are operated through a mobile application (Photo/supplied)

Like many Kiwi’s, Hikotron’s co-founders Ron Smits, Stephanie Smits O’Callaghan and Lawrence Muijlwijk found themselves returning to New Zealand during the Covid-19 pandemic and brought with them experiences from Europe and as EV owners. They quickly identified a gap in the local EV charging market that saw them develop the technology using their combined experience and knowledge.

“What struck me immediately was that while there was desire for EV ownership in New Zealand, the infrastructure required to support this is lacking and focuses predominantly on fast DC charging in an attempt to replicate the legacy petrol model of ‘filling up your car’ when empty,” says Ron.

As an engineer, Ron and his business partners set out to design and manufacture their own solution, utilising state-of-the-art technology to roll out an AC charging network that would enable EV owners to travel from destination to destination with the confidence that they can charge their vehicles upon arrival.

Waikato Innovation Park was a natural choice for the first location, as it is a hub for technology and innovation businesses, providing the best facilities for the business community, and having this state-of-the-art technology available at the park was a no-brainer for Operations Manager, Catherine Clark.

Hikotron is working with developers, businesses, and other organisations with strong interest around the country, starting in Waikato. They have sites planned for a range of locations around the region that will go-live early 2022.

The company has plans to roll out this technology throughout New Zealand.

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