Electric Vehicles

It’s so simple – Electric Vehicles are Cheaper to Run

How do 30 cents per liter of petrol sound?

That is the equivalent price you would pay to fill your Electric Vehicle (EV). To determine how you can save up to 80% on your vehicle running costs, check out our EV calculator here. EVs run exclusively on battery power and generally have a range of 120 to 450 kilometers.

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) tend to have smaller batteries and a petrol generator backup and generally have an electric range of about 50 – 100 km but can travel a further 300 – 700 km on petrol. Both EVs and PHEVs can be plugged into the mains at home or the office. Most EV and PHEV users charge their cars at night, much like charging a mobile phone.

Please look at our New Zealand Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide to find out which is the right EV for you.

Charging at night also takes advantage of the off-peak pricing offered, like our ecoSAVER price plan. Charging also occurs during the day; this is commonly referred to as sipping.

Rapid Chargers are also being installed around NZ by Charge.Net.nz and will charge a Leaf from 0 – 80% in 20 minutes.

EV emissions vs. Petrol or Diesel

Choosing to switch to an electric vehicle is an easy financial choice; they are cheaper to run. But what about the emissions from an electric vehicle over its lifetime.  Here’s an article that shows that EVs have 7 – 10 times more CO2 efficiency than petrol or diesel cars over their lifetime.

161208 Pump vs Plug

Below is a graph showing the various emissions of large and small cars and electric cars. Of course, if you are using an electric car and are an Ecotricity customer, you’ve essentially taken your vehicle fuel emissions to …. Zero!

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Country ecoNOMICS

The benefits of Electric Vehicles to New Zealand are immense. Here are some of the benefits of the Electric Vehicle revolution if 50% of the New Zealand vehicle fleet were to convert to EVs or PHEVs

  • We could import $2 billion less of oil per year.
  • We would save $370m in health costs per year.
  • We would be employing more people in New Zealand to produce more renewable electricity.
  • We could reduce emissions by a whopping 6 billion kgs of CO2 per year.
  • Fuel poverty would be a thing of the past.
  • Our streams and rivers would receive fewer oil pollutants.
  • There would be much less road noise!

Join the Electric Vehicle revolution today!  Please look at our New Zealand Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide to find out which is the right EV for you.

Individual and Company ecoNOMICS

Make sure you have a go at our EV calculator to see how much you can save in fuel costs here. Here are some of the more detailed notes related to the calculator here, or look at our New Zealand Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide to find out which is the right EV for you.

Here are some other tips about fuel & Maintenance savings

  • Kiwi cars travel on average 39 km/day. This equates to approximately 14,000 km pa. An EV owner will save approximately $2,500 pa on fuel and servicing costs based on an average-sized petrol car based on the car owner.
  • If you spend $100 on petrol, you will spend about $20 – $25 on electricity to go the same distance in an EV.
  • EVs have regenerative brakes, so when braking or traveling downhill, energy is captured back into the battery. This also means that the brake pads on an EV may never need replacing.
  • An electric motor only has a handful of moving parts and lasts much longer than combustion engines; therefore, much has substantially lower maintenance costs.

Cost of EVs

  • EVs initially had higher capital costs because this is a new technology. However, prices have already dropped significantly. The Nissan Leaf originally was $69,000 and is now $39,000 new, and on Trademe, second-hand imports are selling for around $15,000.
  • Considering the savings of $2,000 annually on fuel, these prices are now financially attractive for many.
Charger Images
160515 EV charger options BPublic ChargingPublic EV chargers are popping up throughout the country as EVs become commonplace. New Zealand’s leading public rapid charging network www.Charge.Net.NZ is also being rolled out, and it’s the only charging network supplied by Ecotricity carboNZero Certified electricity. There are also plenty of EV owners who are willing to let other EV owners use their private or workplace chargers; take a look at www.PlugShare.com. If you have a charger, remember to share it with your fellow EV drivers too! Not sure which Electric Vehicle to buy?  Check out the NZ Electric Vehicle Buyers Guide; there is a growing number of EV options to choose from.NZ Private or Commercial Installations

Portable option

  • These can be carried around in the back of your EV / PHEV as an emergency charger and can be plugged into any standard 10 amp socket around NZ and are generally used for sipping or topping up or a full charge over 6 to 12 hours, depending on your model of EV / PHEV.

Type 1 & 2 Notes

  • These require a qualified electrician to install.
  • If you are renovating or building from scratch at home or work, it is ideal for laying cable for single phase 32 amps OR 3 phase 32 amps from the switchboard to each car-park being considered now and for the future. Cabling is relatively cheap, so always provision for more if there are any extra EVs planned.
  • For new commercial buildings, consider installing cabling for 20 – 50% of carparks initially. Start by installing one or two chargers and as demand grows, adding additional chargers is easy if cabling is present.
  • Consider dwell times and building electrical capacities when selecting 7 kW or 22 kW EV charger options. 7 kW chargers are likely to be more suitable with fewer 22 kW chargers; spreading the charge load over a longer time is easier to build electrical circuits and saves swapping car parks.
  • Do consider, however, a smaller number of 22 kW chargers for faster charging.

Installation Tips

  • The most cost-effective installations are against walls (vs. on a plinth).
  • Consider areas where there is the least amount of foot traffic between the cars and EV chargers.
  • Distance to the switchboard – the shorter, the more cost-effective.
  • Install at hip height.
  • Install units in between 2 carparks or centered between white lines.
  • Promote your EV chargers with signage.

Rapid Chargers

  • These units are free-standing and require significant electrical infrastructure for installation, ideally close to a transformer that has the capacity to handle 50kW easily. By way of comparison, a typical house is wired for a maximum of 14kw.
  • These are installed for public charging or fleets of EVs.
  • Total installation costs range from $50,000 to $70,000 per Rapid Charger.

 CHARGEnet rapid charger


  • EVs have maximum power from a standing start. They can accelerate quickly, and currently, New Zealand’s fastest street-legal car for a quarter-mile is an electric car beating all V8s.
  • The fastest production EV is a Tesla P100D which quietly reaches 100 km/hr in 2.5 seconds (Ludicrous Mode – Tesla Model S). Hold on tight!
  • You can now also buy an electric 4wd PHEV to fit the whole family in!

Will I run people over because they are quiet?

  • As noted above, EVs are faster than pedestrians expect, so please take care behind the wheel.
  • EVs are very quiet and emit about the same noise as a bicyclist. Some EVs emit synthetic noises at speeds below 40 kph. Over 30 kph, road and wind noise alert pedestrians about your approach.

Can I charge my car in the rain?

  • Yes, you can. You can even drop the car end of the charging cable in a bucket of water and be completely safe. The EV and charger talk to each other, and the charger will only allow electricity to travel through the cable only if the EV and charger are communicating safely.
  • All chargers that Ecotricity sells are weatherproof and suitable for use outdoors.

Are they automatic?

  • EVs have no gears, so they feel like an automatic when driving and are very smooth when accelerating.

If I travel the average 40 km/day, how long will it take to charge my EV?

  • If you plug your car into a 10 amp socket, it will take about 4 hours to charge. If you have a dedicated 7 kW charger, it will take 1 – 2 hours to charge, depending on the type of EV you have.

How long do the batteries last?

  • EV batteries are different from mobile phone batteries as they are made up of several individually controlled battery modules. These modules use space-age technology to cycle battery modules to ensure long battery life individually.
  • You can typically charge your car as often as you like to keep the battery topped up. Studies have shown that using Rapid or Fast Chargers does not deteriorate EV batteries any faster than normal use.
  • EV batteries are expected to last about 8 – 10 years with the current technology but are improving and becoming cheaper over time.
  • Second-hand EV batteries can also be used for home energy storage. Replacement batteries for a Leaf in the US currently cost about NZD6,000. However, some manufacturers like Tesla are also starting to release replacement batteries with higher capacity/distance batteries than the original battery. So, your EV is like a fine wine, and it just keeps on getting better.

What happens if I run out of charge?

  • What happens if you run out of petrol?  It is a nuisance. You will find that you will become accustomed to the range of your EV and use it accordingly. Driving style also affects your range; electric burnouts might be fun but not so cool if you have to borrow your mate’s power socket for a couple of hours to get home.
  • Carrying a charger that can plug into any 10 amp socket is a good backup.

Do EVs really only use about 20 – 25% of the energy fossil fuel cars use?

  • Yes. Electric motors are very, very efficient. Think of how our electricity is delivered, transmission lines from all parts of the country and mostly renewable sources, and loses only around 10% in transmission losses.
  • Consider now the process of fossil fuels and how they are delivered.
    A. Drill a bottomless hole, sometimes offshore.
    B. Pump it to the surface, load it onto ships.
    C. Refine it (that uses a lot of electricity, by the way), ship it again.
    D. Truck to holding tanks, truck to petrol pumps.
    E. Electricity is then needed to pump the fossil fuel into your car.
    How much energy is required for all of this? A lot! Further, fossil fuel cars are only about 30-40% efficient when they burn the fuel.
  • The step into EVs is a massive step forward in technology, emissions, and savings for the consumer.

What about Fuel Cell cars running on Hydrogen?

  • A fuel cell car is another form of an electric car, but instead of a battery, it has a hydrogen fuel tank. The inherent issue with hydrogen is that it needs to be compressed and stored under very high pressure. The energy required to compress is about 3 times as much as charging a battery, so not very energy efficient.
  • Additionally, most hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, so it is not 100% step away from emissions.

What do others say about EVs?

  • Talk to any EV or PHEV owner, and they will not stop raving about them, especially the fuel savings and acceleration.
  • In EV surveys, customers rate their EV vehicles higher than fossil fuel cars.

How clean are EVs?

  • Very. Now, time to go shopping for one.

Could you pay it forward?

  • Remember, when you buy an EV, be sure to lend it out to friends and family to spread the word.

The dirty truth behind petrol cars

Read our blog for more information about how much energy is required to extract oil and how much emissions we could save using this energy directly to power electric cars!

Click HERE