There are three ways to charge an electric vehicle:
- by plugging it into a normal 3-pin wall socket at home – the same socket as your toaster uses;
- by plugging it into a special home EV charging unit;
- at public charging stations.
Charging your EV at home during off-peak hours e.g. overnight is likely the cheapest and most convenient option (Source: Gen Less). Plugging it into a 3-pin socket is simple, but it takes longer – depending on the EV and the size of the battery, a full charge can take 10-12 hours.
However, if you install a wall-mounted ‘smart’ EV charging unit, you can reduce that to around 4 hours – depending on the EV and battery size.
Another advantage of wall-mounted charging units is that most of them come with a smartphone app which gives you more control over charging, such as taking advantage of cheaper electricity rates. It’s important to remember that dedicated EV charging units must be installed by a registered electrician.
Most of the time the majority of EVs are charged at home but there is also a large and growing network of public charging stations around New Zealand.
Some offer the same type of charging as a wall home unit, and many of these are free to use. But there are also many fast charging stations which you pay to use and depending on the EV, can get you to an 80% charge in around 45 minutes.
Find out more about charging options, including how to find public charging stations, at Gen Less. Waka Kotahi (the New Zealand Transport Agency) also compiles a map of public charging stations around the country.