Electric Vehicle questions, answered
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With the increase of electric vehicle sales, Tesla’s Model 3 almost taking the top sales spot in September, and the introduction of new electric vehicles almost every month (Mazda MX-30, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Toyota bZ4X to name a few), the learning curve is still steep.
In August, we dealt with EV FAQs, charging electric vehicles, the big questions and answers, we covered basic terminology between BEV, PHEV and Hybrid, pondered how many and how long public chargers would be free to use, looked at Type 1 vs Type 2 plugs and if it’s safe to charge in the rain.
In October, we covered electric vehicle etiquette, from parking in EV-only spots, to hovering while waiting and unplugging others.
This time we’re back with a few more FAQ, thanks to our friends at EV charger and component specialist, ChargeMaster, who sells a range of home EV fast chargers, commercial chargers and accessories such as cables, adaptors and portable chargers.
How long does it take to charge an EV?
How long does it take to fill a container with water? Is it a drinking glass, or a swimming pool? Are you using a garden hose or a fire hose? How empty is the container?
Many factors influence the charging speed of an EV, such as the kWh size of the battery (bigger takes longer, PHEVs have smaller batteries than BEVs), and the power source: from a 1.2kWh portable charger that plugs into a three-pin wall socket, right up to a 300kW Hyper Charger.
And no, the Hyper Charger isn’t always mathematically 250 times faster than the portable charger, because it also depends on the vehicle’s maximum charge acceptance rate, which could range from 3.7kW (Mitsubishi Outlander on a home charger) up to 110kW (Mercedes-Benz EQC on public charger) or 270kW (Porsche Taycan/Audi GT on Hyper Charger).
For a broad charger comparison, ChargeMaster quotes the times to add 100km of range, ranging from 10 hours for a home trickle charger, all the way down to just four minutes for a 350kW Hyper Charger.
Is an EV cheaper to own?
Currently, a PHEV/BEV costs more to purchase than an ICE vehicle, however the price gap is shrinking. The cost of electricity per 100km is much less than petrol/diesel, and we recently looked into the specific costs of ownership and the payoff distance/ownership term to make financial sense, ELECTRIC VEHICLE VERSUS PETROL POWER. Electricity isn’t free, of course, so there is a cost involved with EV running, however it is a fraction the cost of petrol.
EVs also have lower maintenance bills, because there’s no oil to change, fewer moving parts to wear and replace and even extended brake life due to regenerative braking.
Batteries gradually lose capacity over the years, which only affects how far you can travel on a full charge. Newer battery management technology is significantly reducing the rate of capacity loss. For example, some Teslas are reporting only 5% loss after 100,000km and a total of 10% after travelling 300,000km.
For more information see our story: Electric Vehicle versus petrol power: is a BEV really that much cheaper to run?
Can NZ’s infrastructure handle so many EVs?
EVs in NZ still only represent two percent of yearly new car sales, and given the number of used cars on the road, it’s remains a tiny fraction of added load. The impact of an EV on a home’s power draws are barely measurable, with EV smart chargers prioritising home essentials (lights, heating etc).
Most people and businesses charge their EVs overnight, when there’s excess capacity for clean power generation. Many power companies even offer low overnight power rates to encourage this use.
Not everyone will buy an EV tomorrow, so there’s time for power generation to increase (as it always has done) to support growing areas of demand. Significant wind and solar power projects are coming to support growing daytime consumption as NZ’s population and EV sales grow.
An increasing number of EVs are able to act as a storage battery, supplying auxiliary power when out, feeding power back to the home during an outage or back into the grid to smooth peak demand before charging further when demand is low.
Thanks to: ChargeMaster.co.nz