EV charging at home

Embrace the future of transportation by installing your own charging station right at home. As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular, so are the convenience and cost-effectiveness of having a charging station at home. Gone are the days of scrambling to find a public charging station. You can power up your EV overnight, ensuring it’s ready to hit the road when you are.

EV Charging at home

But it’s not just convenience and savings; it’s about enhancing your lifestyle and adding value to your property. As the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, having a charging station at home is becoming a sought-after feature for many EV owners (according to Z Energy). Property Managers are also indicating that a charging station is what tenants want when looking for a new home.

Which charging station to install?

There are quite a few brands, such as Evnex, Topdon, Evport, Transnet, and Schneider, plus the vehicle branded chargers; Lexus, Tesla, BMW, BYD, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Audi, Canoo, Porsche, Polestar, Fisker, NIO, Geely Faraday Future, XPeng, and Lucid.

There’s not much difference between the various brands, but functionality is one thing you can bring it down to (other than price). Some vehicles come with charging controls in the vehicle. Controls include power limits, required departure time, charging starting and stopping times, etc. But if not, then the functionality of the charger matters. Your standard charger can turn on and off; plug it in, and it goes. Others have more control where you can remotely lock the charger via an app or use a fob to get access to charge – these are especially helpful if the charging station is located outside of your home or office.

For landlords, we recommend installing a non-tethered one – essentially, it’s a box on the wall with a socket to which the tenant would plug their lead. The tenant can then buy the lead specific to the vehicle being charged.

When choosing your hardware, we recommend one with a five-year warranty, which most decent brands have. A longer warranty period demonstrates confidence in the product’s performance.

How much does a charger cost?

It depends mostly on the hardware’s cost but also on the location of the charging station and how far away it is from the switchboard. The hardware ranges from $500 on special to upwards of $2,000. The installation cost would be on top of this and would take between two and six hours, so $500 to $1,500 plus GST.

Can I install one myself?

You can’t install an EV charger yourself because the electrical wiring required needs to be done safely. EV chargers require a dedicated electrical circuit and proper grounding to prevent faults.

You might not have enough power – a typical house will continue just fine unless there are big load items you want to run at the same time. These big load items include electric hobs, air conditioning, heat pumps, and hot water. This can be mitigated with the use of load balancing devices, which are usually an optional extra. Single-phase power is common in residential and light commercial buildings, but you may need three-phase power to meet the higher power demand and load.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Working out how much it costs to charge an electric car depends on the size of the battery in the car. The average battery size is 40-60kW, and some go up to 100kW. It also depends on your electricity provider and whether they have cheaper night rates. But on average, a 40kW battery would cost between $8 to $15 to recharge from empty. A 7kW charging station would complete a full charge in under eight hours.

Where can I charge my EV?

When travelling away from home, charging stations are available all over the country. As EVs continue to become more popular, you’ll see them popping up more and more. The best place to find out where they are is on a website, ChargeNet have a great map of locations that you can filter by connectors and charger types. It also provides their current activity status – whether it’s available in real-time or not.

RUCs for electric vehicles

Electric vehicles have enjoyed a Road User Charges (RUC) exemption since 2009. This exemption was implemented until electric vehicles comprised approximately 2% of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet. With the current tally standing at around 100,000 light EVs on our roads, the government has opted to allow this exemption to lapse.

The RUC rate for electric vehicles will be $76 per 1000km unit, and the rate for PHEVs (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles) will be $53 per 1000km unit. This is lower because you already pay some fuel excise duty (FED) when you buy petrol. (Prices do not include the admin fee.) More information is here.

So, what is the real total cost of an EV?

The cost of an EV can vary depending on the brand and type that makes the most sense for you. Hybrid prices are generally in the lower range, with the average cost of a Kia Niro Hev LX starting at $40,990. Plug-in hybrids come at a slightly higher price, with the Kia Niro Phev LX costing $55,990, with fully electric vehicles having the largest price tag of $77,990 for the Kia Niro Bex EX.

Contact Energy has created a chart that shows how much it costs to have an EV. Essentially, switching to any version of an EV has a cost comparison of $101,116 – this is based on petrol prices of $2.75 per litre, electricity of 17c per kWh, and travelling 20,000km per year. So even with the introduction of RUCs, there is still money to be saved and a better environment to be enjoyed.

Where do I start?

It’s relatively easy to get an EV charger installed. Call French Electrical on 0800 945 147 or book a consultation via our website form here, and we’ll provide a quote that best suits you.

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