Socket to 'em: how to prepare your home for an EV
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With our electric vehicle fleet increasing year-on-year so, too, has the option of charging your car at home using a wall charger.
While you can charge your vehicle at home overnight with a standard three-pin plug; if you want a faster boost then a wall box is ideal.
A dedicated wall-mounted AC charging unit provides more safety than a regular charging cable and can charge faster, yet they’re easier on the battery than fast (DC) charging.
Some devices have timers to make off-peak charging easy, display information and allow you to control charging with a smartphone.
The bonus with the increase in popularity of EVs is that there are a wide variety of home charging units available now.
Quality chargers are rated for use in all-weather conditions, with indoor and outdoor installation options.
A range of companies is selling wall charging units (such as TransNet) — and if you are buying a new EV, the dealership will either sell you one or it’s included in the sale.
When building a new house or garage, you can future-proof by thinking about the potential of an EV charger and power socket location and fitment.
Before you get a wall charger, the Automobile Association (AA) recommends getting a home assessment done by a qualified professional.
Electricians are also going through an educational process since the advent of EVs, with Master Electricians running a series of workshops to help educate their members about likely changes to industry guidelines, says the AA.
Wall-mounted charging units must be installed by a registered electrician who should install a separate sub-circuit, says the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
The authority says the electrician should make sure the cable to the socket is capable of supplying the power that the unit can deliver. A circuit capable of supplying 32amps will futureproof the installation.
They must also install a Type B RCD, says the EECA.
“They also must be able to confirm the charging equipment has a Supplier Declaration of Conformity to show the unit has been tested and meets electrical safety law,” it says.
Worksafe New Zealand recommends that you buy only supply equipment that is designed for your car, has been manufactured for use in New Zealand and has a New Zealand plug.
“There’s other supply equipment being sold by various retailers and online but it might not be safe or legal in New Zealand,” says Worksafe.
“Some supply equipment is being imported and then having a New Zealand plug fitted after it has arrived in the country.
“This type of modification can be dangerous and may be against the law.
“If you wonder whether supply equipment has been modified — for example, if it has a plug that doesn’t look right — don’t use it.”