Your guide to EV’s

Answering your EV questions

We’re getting some questions about electric vehicles (EVs) so here’s a blog to give you some more information.

They’re much cheaper to run than petrol and diesel vehicles, low maintenance, better for the environment and billed as the way of the future in driving so EVs or PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid EVs) might be something you are considering.

Most new homes are installing electrical for EV charging in the garage, and those planning for the future are also installing electrical capability. If you’re selling your home or a rental property real estate agents recommend installing power to the garage so that a charger can be installed in future as this will be a beneficial added feature for selling your property. 

While they are cheaper to run, there are a few upfront costs to plan for with and EV which we cover below. 

What models are there and where do you buy them?

There are quite a few EV’s on the market. This site shows models available in New Zealand. Many brands are in the high end price range, but Nissan (EV) and Mitsubishi (PHEV) have models which are in the moderate price range and second-hand EVs are a good option too (see Trademe).

New Zealanders can benefit from UK and Japan tax breaks on EVs when buying second-hand imports from those countries. EVs need little maintenance, so even one that has clocked 10,000km is still near new in terms of wear and tear.

What does it cost to charge and electric car?

An electric car costs the equivalent of 30 cents a litre to run (source: Wellington City Council). The cheapest way to recharge a car is plugging in at home overnight and having the electricity show up on your monthly power bill.

What does installing a charger involve?

You need a wall charging unit which is 16 or 32 amps, depending what type of car you have, RCD protection for the unit, and isolator switch and cabling from your home power source to the charging unit.  

What are the estimated costs of installing a charger?

It is approximately $3000 for the above materials. The cost of labour and cabling would be additional to that and can be estimated once we look at the property, as they are dependent on the location of the charger in relation to your home power source. 

I don’t have a garage and live a distance from the road. Can I run a cable from the car to a charger on my property?

While this is not ideal, from an electrical point of view it can be done safely in most instances. There may be added safety risks with your EV being charged off your property. We’re happy to look at your property and assess the best and recommended approach. 

I want to buy or long-term hire a car park in town, how do I go about getting a charger at it?

Before purchasing a car park talk to the owner of the building or property about who would take responsibility of the cost for this. It may be the owner, or a shared arrangement. As above, the cost will depend on the proximity of the power source to the charger. 

Where are public charging stations in Wellington?

Wellington City Council has the latest on progress with residential street locations for chargers, and has where public charging stations are.  

What do we know about the future of EVs?

Service stations will have charging points, technology will improve meaning more quicker charging stations at home (commonly they are currently overnight chargers), and public charging stations will use DC charging where a vehicle can be fully charged in under an hour. 

Chargers that can draw a higher current are becoming more readily available but in order for these to be used safely the connection needs to be rated for the higher current. This requires thicker wires and extra circuit breakers to electrician needs to get involved if home owners want to upgrade charging stations. These may not charge as fast as the DC public charging stations but will still be more efficient than most current home charging units.

What is holding back more EVs in NZ?

Lack of charging stations is the main thing holding more kiwis back from moving to an EV. Because the average EVs only has a life of 120kms after charging, without the availability of more stations people run the risk of running out of power mid journey and this confines many EVs to being simply a runabout town vehicle for short distance use.

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