Other locations you can charge electric vehicles
There are many ways fleet electric vehicles can be charged, depending on where and how they are used.
We’ve compiled a few location where you can charge an electric vehicle:
- At an alternating current (AC) charging station by fleet vehicle parking spaces at an agency’s site.
- At a public AC charging station.
- At a public direct current (DC) fast charging station using the charger’s tethered cables. This option is useful for longer journeys and can ‘top-up’ vehicles away from base if the level of charge is getting low.
- At an AC wall charging station installed by the agency at the home of a staff member with an allocated electric vehicle.
- At private AC charging stations installed at hotels, motels or other restricted premises (with permission). When staying overnight, electric vehicle drivers should consider choosing accommodation providers that offer electric vehicle charging.
- At any standard 3-pin wall socket, using a charging cable suitable for that electric vehicle (with permission). Private electric vehicle drivers will be familiar with this option. WorkSafe guidelines require that a Type B RCD is fitted in any circuit from which electric vehicle charging occurs. As the presence of this safety feature may not be known by the electric vehicle driver, it is recommended that this charging option is not used for agency fleet vehicles.
Public DC fast charging
DC fast charging is more expensive than AC charging at the agency’s base, so should only be used when necessary, eg long journeys.
If your drivers use public DC fast charging, make sure they are aware of etiquette when using this. The Better New Zealand Trust has produced a useful guide to public charging etiquette in New Zealand.
Some DC fast chargers are free for the general public to use, but not for commercial electric vehicles (eg Vector chargers in Auckland). Government fleet electric vehicles should not use these free public DC fast chargers.
Electric vehicle battery charge reduces with the amount of charge in the battery, particularly for DC fast charging. DC fast chargers will slow down noticeably after 80% and may stop around 95% charge. Avoid DC fast charging above 80%, as this will make charging sessions quicker and cheaper.
These resources will help you find the location of public AC and DC charging stations:
- In-car navigation systems available in many electric vehicles.
- Plugshare app – a crowdsourced app of all publicly accessible New Zealand electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- ChargeNet app – map of charging infrastructure accessible through the ChargeNet billing platform.
- Open Loop app – map of charging infrastructure accessible through the Open Loop billing platform.
- Power Trip app – an electric vehicle trip planning app which accounts for electric vehicle model driving range.
- Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Ageney’s journey planner.
Home charging should only be considered for staff members with allocated vehicles. When installing a charger at a staff member’s residence:
- Check: is the residence rented or owned by the staff member, and is it part of a multi-unit dwelling (like an apartment block)? You may need separate permission from the building owner or body corporate to install charging infrastructure.
- A qualified electrician should assess the condition of the house wiring including the earthing system.
- The charging station should be supplied from a dedicated final sub-circuit protected by a type B Residual Current Device (RCD) or Residual Current Breaker with Over-Current (RCBO). Some residences may require a wiring upgrade before an AC charging station is installed.
- Home charging stations and the RCD/RCBO should be tested for safety annually.
Staff members charging at home can be compensated for the cost of electricity for electric vehicle charging. Smart chargers can record how much electricity is used to charge the electric vehicle, and staff members can claim based on home electricity tariff rates.
WorkSafe considers an employee’s home garage to be a workplace when charging an employer’s electric vehicle and advises that any home charging should use a dedicated charging station. They also strongly discourage the use of a “Mode 2” charging cable (IC-CPD) connecting to a standard three-pin wall socket for charging.