Charging your electric vehicle

The cost of charging an EV is equivalent to buying petrol for 30 cents a litre.

The cheapest and easiest way to charge your EV is by plugging it in overnight at home or at work. You can do this by plugging into a standard power point using the portable charging cable that normally comes with your EV, or plug into a fixed charging unit. An overnight charge will cost up to $3 per 100km.

A fixed wall mounted or pedestal charger that is permanently wired in is the most convenient way to charge but it may add a cost to your initial EV purchase. There are indoor and outdoor options available to suit where your EV is parked and with the right charging connection for your EV.

These fixed chargers make it quick to plug in and easy to time charging to start when the overnight tariff begins (check if your electricity retailer has an EV tariff and at what time it starts). They can also make it easy to keep cables tidy, and means the portable charging cable can stay in the car boot for when you’re out and about.

If you don’t want to, or can’t, install a fixed charging unit, charging your EV can be as easy as plugging your portable charging cable into a wall socket in your garage or an outdoor rated power point.

Charging at work can also be very easy where dedicated or EV-charging parks are available. It is expected that building owners and developers will progressively install EV-charging facilities to meet demand – there is usually sufficient building electricity load capacity for this in existing buildings.

Some EVs have ‘fast charge’ capability, which means you can charge an average electric car from low to 80% battery capacity in around 20 minutes, compared with the 6-8 hours that it might take using a domestic powerpoint.

The cost to install EV-charging facilities at work can range anything from a few hundred dollars to $10,000 per charging bay. For the most part, slow-rate charging should suffice, which costs normally at the low end of this range.

The cost of electricity for charging will vary, but as an example a typical pure electric car charged on a domestic powerpoint overnight will cost less than $3 per 100km, or up to $5 per 100km during the day (depending on electricity rates). A top-up charge would be a fraction of this. If using a fast charge unit, a typical pure electric car can be given an 80% charge in less than 20 minutes for around $4 to $7 in electricity costs (fee-based public fast chargers have a user charge on top of the electricity charge).

To date, most building owners or tenants have provided free charging for users, or malls and hotels have used the availability of free electric car charging as an incentive to attract business (just like free wi-fi).

There are an increasing number of public slow and fast charging stations available around New Zealand. To find a public charging station, visit the PlugShare website (you will need to search for New Zealand if your location is not enabled on your device) or download the PlugShare app.

Location of charging stations - PlugShare website

The New Zealand Transport Agency has approved a road sign to indicate where electric vehicle charging is available.

EV charge symbol
Road sign - electric vehicle charging available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information is available on the road sign for charging on the New Zealand Transport Agency website.

Electric Vehicle charging station road sign specifications - NZTA website

Types of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles in New Zealand
Electric vehicle benefits and considerations
Safety and regulations for electric vehicles