The electric vehicle industry in New Zealand got a major boost with the arrival of US company Tesla to these shores.

The company has set up its first store on Karangahape Road in Auckland and a supercharger location at The Base Shopping Centre in Hamilton. Further superchargers, which promise fast charge for vehicles, are planned for Taupo and Sanson later in the year. The superchargers are touted as being able to charge the high-end Tesla Model S, which as a range of 600km, from flat to full in 30 minutes.

The Model S costs around $300,000 in New Zealand, with even the cheapest models priced at $117,000. The expectation, however, is that in future more widely affordable models will be released, most notable the Model 3.

The presence of the high-profile company is a significant step for the public profile of electric vehicles in New Zealand, which are rapidly gaining traction in the consumer market.