Charging an Electric Vehicle

by Frano Covic

The equipment may look a little different, but did you know that charging your EV is as simple as plugging in a kettle or recharging your phone?

Many customers tell us that one of their favourite things about making the move to electric powered vehicles is being able to charge up at home. No more queuing at the petrol station, worrying about petrol hikes, or telling the kids they can’t buy junk food at the petrol court shop.

And with the rapidly expanding number of electric vehicle charging options available for the public to choose from, there has never been a better time to go out driving your EV.

Have you ever wondered what types of charger options are available for at home and in public spaces? Or have you considered the costs of charging at these places?

Charging your EV at home

Imagine being able to prepare your vehicle for a trip from the comfort of your own home. This is one of the advantages of electric vehicle ownership - all you have to take care of are the tyres and servicing. Powering your electric car is a walk in the park when you choose one of these easy EV home charging options.

  • A high percentage of EV's come with their very own portable charger called a portable three-pin charging cable. It works like every other electrical plug point in your home: by inserting the plug into the power point. With these types of chargers you are provided with an ICCPD (protection device) and an in-cable control. It must be stressed that no one uses a charger without a protection device, as this could harm your electric vehicle or the person operating the plug.
  • If your property has a garage or room with a spare place in it for a wall mounted charging unit installation, this is great news. Wall chargers are the best way to charge an EV because they are more efficient than standard domestic plugs. Wall chargers in your home can cost approximately $1,300 - $3,000 excluding installation costs. And don’t worry about a wall charger throwing off the aesthetics of your house because they are designed to look neat and functional.

Safety Tips when it comes to charging your EV

How to safely charge your EV at home

It’s very comforting to know you are looking after the environment by driving an electric vehicle. But it’s also important to make sure the person operating the EV charger is safe too; it’s electricity we’re dealing with here, after all!

Follow our advice when it comes to safely charging your EV at home. Such as:

  • What questions you should ask before having your charger installed
  • What advice can the charger supplier offer before, during, and after installation
  • Whether it is possible to get an EV charger installed by a registered electrician
  • Which safety standards must your EV charger meet?

Charging your EV on the road or when your car is stationary

Okay, so you are out and about, and then find your electric vehicle needs a charge: should you be worried?

Absolutely not. Kiwis are in the fortunate position of not having to worry about range limitations. The huge number of EV charging stations available to the public everywhere throughout the country is the envy of many other countries dedicated to making the change to electrically powered cars. Say goodbye to range anxiety forever.

Many public charging stations utilise rapid DC chargers; this equipment will have you back in your electric vehicle and on the road in no time (within half an hour tops). During the wait time, why not take a walk or grab a coffee - recharge your own batteries at the same time?

If you would like to plan charging stops in advance, Plugshare has a full list of all public charging stations. And remember, new public EV charging stations are being added every day because ChargeNet’s network of nationwide rapid DC charging stations is expanding every month. Soon there will be one near you, no matter where you live in New Zealand!

Types of chargers for EV's

Charger type


Required time for charging

Portable 3-pin charging cable

EV owner private use only - trickle AC charge - residential or for use as back-up on the road.

12 to 14 hours

Wall charger

For increased charge time in private residences and businesses charging fleets - fast AC charge

4 hours

Public charger

Public use only - 2 types available - 1. Fast AC charge 2. Rapid DC charge

  1. 4 hours
  2. 45 minutes


What is the difference between Alternating Current and Direct Current chargers?

The power sourced from the national electricity grid is AC power, however, the batteries inside an EV can only store power as DC. Therefore, whenever AC power is used it must be converted to DC first. This conversion happens inside or outside the EV, depending which charger is used.

Charging your EV with AC

EV's contain converters to change AC into DC power. If you choose an AC charger to recharge your EV, the AC is converted inside your car and then stored in the battery.

Charging your EV with DC

The power has already been converted into DC when you use a DC charger. It happens outside your EV which means there is no conversion needed. It is faster than an AC charger for this reason.

If you plan on driving your EV locally, using an AC charger is best, because it gives you time to get your shopping done, dine in a restaurant, watch a movie, or finish work. If you are traveling distances, DC is best because it gives you the chance to get back behind the wheel faster.

What is the cost of charging my EV?

It depends on how much you drive. Kiwis average approximately 25 to 35 km in their cars every day. It will cost you about $3 per 100 km to charge your EV at home, which works out to the equivalent of around 30 cents per litre of petrol.

If you’re out on the road and using a fast charging public EV charger, it costs approximately $10 : 100 km.

Factors such as driving distance, terrain, and weather all play a part in how much charge your EV uses, but even taking all that into account, it’s clear to see that there are some serious savings to be made when comparing it to petrol and diesel costs.