Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott and Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson officially opened the fast charger. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

By Chelsea Boyle

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Masterton’s first fast charging station for electric cars is great news for Sonia Boyd, who has been driving an electric vehicle for three months and would not have it any other way.

The Masterton resident said her diesel van was gobbling between $45 to $50 a week in fuel.

Sonia Boyd with her son Dallas Boyd. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Sonia Boyd with her son Dallas Boyd. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

“The cost of it was killing me,” she said.

“My son told me to sell it and get an electric vehicle.”

She now drives a Nissan Leaf, which she said is made of recycled materials and costs $2.95 a week in electricity to drive.

“I love going into the garage and watching people pump gas,” she said.

“Never would I go back to spending all that money at the petrol pump, to me that would be crazy.”

For her the monthly difference in driving the Nissan Leaf has been footing a $19 bill instead of a $200 one.

“People don’t realise how cheap it is,” she said.

“I used to go places depending on how much money I had and that’s gone.”

The fast charger was a first in Masterton but the eighth of its kind opened by Powerco and ChargeNet NZ in New Zealand.

Powerco acting general manager of electricity Eric Pellicer said it was an “exciting” day for Masterton when he attended the official opening on Friday afternoon.

For him the challenge now lies in getting people into the cars and out for a drive in them.

“A positive spin-off of these charging stations is the tourism they can bring into a town, putting it on the map for electric vehicle owners, the number of which will only grow.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said visitors using the fast charger on Dixon St would be able to enjoy Queen Elizabeth Park, Aratoi museum and stop-by at a café for coffee while the car charges.

It was a great way to encourage more people to visit the beautiful region as they travelled south to Wellington, she said.

Mrs Patterson said she hoped the council would seriously consider moving its fleet of cars to electric.