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Frequently asked questions

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Your most common questions. Our answers. In one place.

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Arrow downWhat are the benefits of EVs?

They are cheaper to run as the electricity costs can be less than half the petrol equivalent. Drive Electric estimates that the cost for charging an EV for an average Kiwi driver is equivalent to paying 40c a litre for petrol.

They are cheaper to maintain as they have a lot fewer moving parts than a conventional petrol/diesel car - there’s less servicing and no expensive exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems or radiators. And they are better for the environment as there are no emissions. Even better if you recharge using renewable energy, which is prevalent in New Zealand

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Arrow downDo EVs cost more to buy and run?

Currently, EVs are more expensive to buy than their petrol or diesel equivalents. However, EVs are cheaper to run as they have a lot less moving parts than a conventional petrol/diesel car. And they are better for the environment as there are no emissions. Even better is if you recharge using renewable energy, which is prevalent in New Zealand.

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Arrow downWhat is the difference between AC and DC charging?

Our electricity grid runs on Alternating Current (AC). However, batteries store power as Direct Current (DC). Your EV has a rectifier that converts AC to DC current called the ‘on board charger’.

AC Charging is the most common charging method. Your EV charges through the on board charger converting AC to DC current, feeding the car’s battery.

DC charging skips the vehicle’s on board charger, delivering direct current (DC) power to the battery, allowing the EV a much faster charge rate. The AC to DC rectifier is located in the charger itself. The speed of AC charging relies on the size of your on board charger.

The speed of DC charging relies on your vehicle’s capabilities and the rating of the DC charger. Most EVs that are capable of DC charging can now charge at up to 70kW. Some can go up to 100, 150 and 250kW 

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Arrow downHow different is driving an EV to an ICE vehicle?

The first thing you’ll notice is the noise – or lack of. There’s no engine noise, just a soft hum and the rumbling of the tyres on the road. Then there’s the immediate acceleration that takes a bit of getting used to. Plus, new auto tech like regenerative braking that allows you to recharge your battery in stop start. City driving. And of course, you don’t visit petrol stations – you recharge. Otherwise – it’s still a car.

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Arrow downWhat are the different types of electric vehicles?

There are three main variations:

For more please refer to our article on EV tech explained.

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Arrow downWhat are the different plug types?

There are five types of connectors available in the New Zealand Fleet according to the NZTA. The EV model you have will determine what EV connector to use. A good way to remember what connector you need is consider where your car is made.

See images of plug types

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Arrow downDo EVs have enough range for my driving?

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) have ever increasing ranges, and the latest models can drive 300-500kms on a single charge – enough to suit most average motorists for a week. For really long drives, there is a growing public charging network that can allow ‘fast charging’ on the road – 80% battery fill in about 20 minutes. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have a shorter range with the electric engine, and then the petrol engine takes over – so the driving range will be the same as a petrol/diesel equivalent.

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