Prepare for years of pollution-free driving by installing the right infrastructure now.
Places to charge
Charging at home off-peak is the cheapest and cleanest option. You need off-street parking and access to a 3-pin power socket — or a dedicated charging unit. You'll have to sort out who pays the bill — installing a smart charger can help divvy it up. Make sure you're comfortable with the health and safety aspect too.
At your business
Super-convenient but there's a lot to consider. If vehicles are parked up overnight, charging overnight is the cheapest and cleanest option — the charging units are much cheaper than fast chargers too. Install a smart charger or use the EV's charging controls to manage when the EV is recharged.
On the road
The public charging network is growing all the time. If chargers are near the routes you travel or your business premises you could use them as your main charging option, or mix and match with home or business charging. Record vehicle daily travel for a month and map journeys against public chargers to see how well they match.
Does your site have the power?
Buildings have a limited power capacity. If charging infrastructure increases electricity demand beyond capacity, you may have to upgrade the transformer and site infrastructure – incurring a lot of expense. The same goes if your power source is a long way from your ideal charger location.
Options are to pay more at this stage, knowing you’re building capacity for more or faster chargers in the future. Or you can stick to slow chargers for now, or look for opportunities to reduce electricity use in other parts of the building.
Work with a certified electrical engineer to find the best solution.
Is your landlord onboard?
If you're a tenant, you'll need permission from the landlord or building manager to install the infrastructure, and their help to liaise with other tenants. Work with them on capacity, metering, signage, markings, access, security and lighting. And maybe they can help with costs — it's a building improvement after all.
Shop around for best equipment and prices
There are several suppliers in New Zealand and a wide range of options, so get quotes from at least 3 providers. Make sure you discuss the power provision at the site, as this can greatly affect the final costs of your project. Compare hardware and software options — go for those that can evolve with new technology.
While you're at it, talk to your electricity provider about their tariffs. Some offer special pricing for EV charging or offer lower off-peak rates.
Iron out the wrinkles with a policy
The process will help you pin down how you want the infrastructure to be managed and used. Is it for employees only, or can visitors or other tenants use it too? Will they have to pay? (Most EV chargers can bill users — so it could help you pay for the charger.) How will you make sure it's available when you need it? What about access and security?