We get asked more and more often about electric EV charging. It’s great to see electric vehicles gaining popularity. We have put together a list of some of the questions we often hear.
Where can an EV charger be installed?
Most EV chargers are capable of being installed inside or outside.
The most important consideration is to install it somewhere it is going to be easy to use. Somewhere close to where you park your EV.
Bear in mind the length of the cable, which ranges between 4 – 7.5m depending on the charger.
Should I get a Tethered(cable) or Untethered(No Cable) charger?
The charger comes with a cable attached. These cables come with a plug specifically to be used with a certain brand of EV or plug type. So it’s important to ensure you know what EV you are getting or have when ordering this type.
The Wallbox pulsar although it comes tethered with one type of plug, there is an adapter available to be used with other plug types.
There is no cable connected to the EV charger. These chargers require you to provide your own cable which plugs into your EV and then into the charger. The advantage of these chargers is that they can be used to charge any EV, as long as you remember your cable.
How much Energy will my EV use?
Your EV’s energy use will depend on how far you are driving. An average daily commute is around 30km’s.
EV’s will travel between 5-8km per kWh depending on the model of EV, temperature and the type of terrain you are driving through.
For a 30km daily commute, we would estimate you would need about 5kWh’s energy per day.
Often our customers will be looking to charge their EV with their solar system.
To generate an average of an extra 5kWh per day with your solar system, it would be best to add about 1kW(3-4) extra solar panels, to account for the extra usage.
How does an EV charger work with solar?
There are different EV chargers with different capabilities.
Standard EV chargers
When you plug them in, they will just start charging at the rated output of the charger or rated input of the EV.
Generally, a charger will be able to charge at 6-7kW single phase or 22kW with a 3 phase supply.
Most EV’s now have a charge timer function, which allows you to time your charging to coincide with solar production.
Advanced EV chargers
Some more advanced EV chargers are able to regulate the charge rate depending on the amount of solar excess available. Or the limit of the electricity supply to the property.
If your solar system is producing 5kW and your house is using 3kW that would leave 2kW’s spare. The EV charger can then regulate to only charge your EV with 2kW of power. Meaning you don’t use or send anything from or to the grid.
EV chargers with this capability are the Wallbox Pulsar and the Zappi(the Zappi is still waiting to go through testing for use in NZ. The next Tesla EV charger(gen 3) may have similar capabilities.
What we recommend
A small and aesthetically pleasing EV charger, which allows regulation of excess solar power to charge your EV. This charger is tethered but an adapter is available for use with other plug types.
Tesla Wall Connector gen 2
Great charger if you have a Tesla EV. The Gen 3 version, which may be out this year should have a few extra features, enabling it to work better with a Tesla Powerwall 2.
Sometimes, especially when you’re building a new house, you may not be ready to buy an EV charger. But you want to ensure you are future proofed and have all the cabling in place for when you’re ready.
We are able to wire for your EV charger. Or if your electrician is already onsite, they should consider the following:
- A good location that will be in reach(within 4m) of where the charging point is on the EV. Have a think about if you will reverse in or go in forward.
- A 32A(7kW) circuit to the location of the EV charger.
- Data cable(230V rated) from the switchboard to the charger. This is to allow for future grid monitoring.
- Data cabling from the charger to the data panel for an internet connection.
How much does it cost to install an EV charger?
To supply and install a Wallbox Pulsar plus EV charger costs $2979+GST.
How long will my EV take to charge?
This will depend on the onboard charger built into your EV.
The older Nissan Leafs come equipped with 3kW onboard chargers. The battery size in these EVs is around 24kWh. At a charge rate of 3kW, it should take about 8 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. Most of the time charging may only be from 30 to 80% so this can be relatively quick around 4 hours.
Newer electric EVs usually come equipped with larger 6-7kW onboard chargers, therefore can take full advantage of the EV charger. Newer EVs tend to come with larger battery sizes too. A 40kWh Nissan leaf could take around 6 hours to fully charge. A 54kWh Tesla model 3 could take around 8 hours to fully charge. It’s not often that you will charge from 0-100% so these charge times are generally shorter.
What’s the difference between the plugin charger I get with the EV and an installed EV charger?
The main difference will be the speed at which you charge your EV. Plug-in chargers are much slower.
Most plug-in chargers can charge at a rate of around 2kW, whereas an installed charger can charge at 7kW. This would be the difference between charging your 40kWh Leaf in 20 hours and 6 hours.
A plug-in charger is a pretty simple device and cannot be automated to regulate your excess solar power into your EV.
Can I install a fast charger?
Generally, the answer is no if you are thinking residentially. Fast chargers are DC chargers. This means they skip out the onboard AC charger in the EV and charge the batteries directly. Because of this, the batteries can be charged at much faster rates. To charge from 0 to 80% should take between 20-40 mins depending on the EV.
Fast chargers charge at a rate of 50kW. Houses generally have a 15kW electricity supply, so fast chargers need their own larger electricity supply.
How much will it cost to charge my EV?
Each kWh of electricity costs about $0.35. A kWh will get you around 5km’s of range.
So for an average daily commute of 30km, you will use about 6kWh of electricity costing about $2.10/day.
A longer trip, say Wanaka to Dunedin, which is around 271km, could cost around $19.
If you are able to obtain some or all of the energy from your solar system, then it could cost you nothing.
Are there other chargers I can use?
New Zealand has an excellent charging infrastructure for longer trips. There are enough fast chargers to get you all over the country. Check out the links below.
If you are interested in installing an EV charger or solar panels then fill out the form below and one of our team will get in touch with you to see how we can help.