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What 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
Do 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.
What 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
How 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.
What are the different types of electric vehicles?
There are three main variations:
- BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles): This is a 100% electric vehicle powered only by the electrical energy in the battery. You charge a BEV by plugging the car into an electrical socket, and it also stores energy generated when you brake.
- PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles): These cars contain two motors – an electric one with a battery that can be charged from a socket, and an internal combustion engine, the same as a normal car.
- Hybrids: though they are considered as ICE vehicles by the MoT, hybrids make use of electric motors. The petrol/diesel engine charges the electric battery, along with regenerative braking, for use when the car pulls away from a stop or during heavy acceleration.
For more please refer to our article on EV tech explained.
What 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.
- For Asian vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander, they can use the CHAdeMO connector standard, which offers fast or DC charging and also use the type 1 standard for AC Charging.
- For European vehicles, such as the Jaguar iPace, BMW i3, Volkswagen these cars use the TYPE 1 DC CCS Combo 1, the EU DC CSS Combo TYPE 2 DC and TYPE 2 or Mennekes AC.
- For the Tesla the Model S and Model X, Tesla uses its own Tesla connector standard.
Do 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.