Charging EVs

 

Advantages | Costs | Electric and hybrid cars

Charging your EV is as easy as charging your phone, or plugging in the toaster.

One of the best things about driving an EV is that you can charge up at home - no need to wait in the queue at the petrol station before your summer roadie, or when you’re in a hurry to work. And there’s a growing number of public EV charging options too, for when you’re out and about.

Here, we break down the types of chargers available, home and public charging, as well as what charging your EV will cost you. (Spoiler: not much).

Charging at home

One of the many advantages to driving an EV is charging from the comfort of your own home - and getting up in the morning to a ‘full tank’. Here’s everything you need to know about charging your EV at home.

  • Portable three-pin charging cable

    Most electric cars come with their own portable charger, which, like all the other electrics in your house, can be plugged into a normal power point. These types of chargers should have an in-cable control and protection device (ICCPD). Never, ever (ever!) use a charger without an ICCPD - it’s risky business. 

  • Wall chargers

    If you’ve got a spot in your garage or around the house that’ll fit a wall mounted charging unit, this is a great way to charge your electric car way more efficiently than through a standard plug.

    Wall chargers can cost you anywhere from $1,300 to $3,000 (excluding installation).

Safe EV charging at home

While driving an EV helps take care of the environment, when it comes to charging it’s important you look after yourself, too. We’ve got to play it safe when electrics are involved! Download our safe charging tips for advice on what to ask your charger supplier, getting chargers installed by a registered electrician, and the safety standards that your charger should meet.

SAFE CHARGING AT HOME

Charging on the road

If you find your EV short of charge when you’re out in town or on a roadie, no worries. Range anxiety is becoming less and less of a thing with the amount of public electric car charging stations popping up around the country.

PlugShare has the full list - just use the map to find one near you wherever you are. If you’re on a roadie, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and see how far you’ll make it before you need to plug in.

Generally, a lot of public charging stations use rapid DC chargers which will get you back on the road within about half an hour. It means you can stretch the legs and grab a coffee to recharge yourself, too.
ChargeNet’s nationwide rapid DC charging network is growing every month, so if there’s not one near you yet, chances are it won’t be long.

Types of chargers

Charger type

Use

Charging time

Power

Portable three-pin charging cable

For private car owners, used in the home or as a back-up while on the road

Trickle AC charge: 12-14 hours

AC: 1.75kW

Wall charger

Fast charging in the home
Business fleet charging

Fast AC charge: 4 hours

AC: 7-22kW

Public charger

For public use

Fast AC charge: 4 hours
Rapid DC charge: 45 mins

AC: 7-22kW
DC: 50kW+

Meridian EV charger

 

The difference between AC and DC chargers

AC stands for alternating current, and DC stands for direct current. The power that we get from the electricity grid is AC power - but EV batteries can only store DC power. So, AC power needs to be converted to DC in order to charge your car. The difference between AC and DC chargers is where that conversion takes place - inside or outside the car.

  • AC charging for EVs

    Electric vehicles all have in-built converters that convert the AC power to DC power. So when you plug in to an AC charger, your car’s converter will change that to DC power so it can be stored in the battery.
  • DC charging for EVs

    DC chargers are a beautiful thing, because the charger has already converted the power from AC to DC before it reaches the car. So, it can feed the power into the car’s battery directly. That means less work for your EV, and a far quicker charge.


AC charging is the best choice for local driving, because you can charge in places that you already plan to spend time - like the supermarket, malls or near your local cafe. DC charging is the best choice for when you want to get back on the road lickety-split. 

The cost of charging an EV

The cost of charging an electric car depends on how much you drive. If you’re like most Kiwis, who average around 25-35km of driving per day, it’ll cost around $3 per 100km (the equivalent to paying $0.30 for a litre of petrol) to charge at home. If you’re fast charging, that can go up to around $10 for 100km.

These are ball park figures - factors like how far you drive, and the type of driving you do (around town, hills, motorways) all play a part. Regardless - you’re looking at some serious savings compared to filling up with petrol or diesel.

Read more: here’s a breakdown of the full cost of an EV.

EV power plan

If you have an EV, we recommend joining our Electric Car Plan. Why? Cheaper rates at night - so you can charge up for less. Our power plan was designed specifically for EV drivers. Check it out - we think you’ll like what you see.

ELECTRIC CAR PLAN