How to get a charge out of a 2-week trip & out of EVs: ChargeNet.
Shayne Currie, the New Zealand Herald editor-at-large really is “at large” – driving a Volkswagen ID.5 EV on a two-week trip up and down New Zealand in the Herald’s Great NZ Road Trip.
He is meeting and interviewing notable and everyday New Zealanders and accompanying their thoughts with 9 Questions for those well-known Kiwis. Shayne is also experiencing his first extended time at the wheel of an EV and, as a self-proclaimed V8 driver and “petrolhead”, he has already proclaimed himself changed: “If there is such a thing as an electric-head, I have become one,” he wrote.
To do that, he has had to become familiar with ChargeNet, Aotearoa New Zealand’s only nationwide EV-charging network, with ChargeNet also a sponsor of the Great NZ Road Trip. This is part of Shayne’s take on driving and charging an EV:
“The car has a range of 530km when fully topped up. I never pushed it that far, normally charging to 80 per cent at the ChargeNet station (there are more than 300 of them dotted throughout the country) and keeping the range anywhere between 100km and 380km.
“As I travelled from Gore to Queenstown. I was irritated with myself because I had just spent a lovely afternoon in Gore and could have been charging the car up at the local ChargeNet station as I charged up on cheese rolls. Lesson 1: Never let an opportunity go by.
I checked the ChargeNet app and ventured a further 21km to the tiny settlement of Athol. I had that charge station, and indeed the town, to myself. I left the ID.5 on charge for an hour and strolled through Athol. It is one of the great memories of the trip. I had been forced to see and learn about a town that I wouldn’t have given a second glance.”
Shayne’s trip is taking him from Dunedin to Invercargill and then to Queenstown, Canterbury, the West Coast, Nelson, Marlborough, New Plymouth, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Auckland and Northland (later in summer) – and here are 9 Questions that ChargeNet have answered to make driving and charging an EV VE – Very Easy this summer:
1. How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?
At a ChargeNet fast charger, you can usually expect to add about 100 km range in 15-30 minutes. The two main variables are: how many kW you want, and what type of connection your EV will use.
2. Where can I find a charging station and is there a charging network I can join?
ChargeNet, Aotearoa New Zealand’s only nationwide EV-charging network, has more than 300 charging points across the country and have announced plans to double its network in the next three years.
3. What can an EV driver expect when they arrive at a ChargeNet charging station?
Charging an EV is similar to charging your phone or laptop. First, set up an account, similar to signing up with Uber – create an account, download the ChargeNet app, plug in and charge away. ChargeNet’s goal is to make EV charging simple and accessible.
Once you’ve set up your ChargeNet account, find your nearest charging station, plug in your car and head off to do whatever you need to do and then return to your car before your session ends, just as you do with your mobile phone and your laptop. Most people find it easier than refueling with petrol, once they know what to do and it’s certainly less messy. ChargeNet has a guide with all the information you need before your first EV charging session.
4. How much does it cost?
The average charging session will cost between $5 and $15 using a fast charging station. These costs may differ depending on what level charger you are using and the size of your battery. If you have a vehicle with a large, or slow, battery it may cost more than average.
5. Can I walk away and leave my EV charging?
Yes, this is the beauty of electric vehicles. Just remember it doesn’t always take as long as you might think, so don’t forget to return before your charge is up. It’s good EV etiquette – as well as just being generally the polite thing to do – to move your vehicle when it’s finished charging, so other drivers in the queue can plug in. Don’t assume no one is waiting because you can’t see them, they may be parked somewhere else waiting for you to finish. The ChargeNet app allows you to keep an eye on the progress of your charge. ChargeNet can also send you a free text message letting you know when your charging session is finished, and how much it cost, if you update your mobile preferences.
6. Why are people switching to electric vehicles?
While buying an EV is great for reducing your carbon footprint, driving one has many additional benefits - from the convenience of overnight charging to paying less for filling up, here are our top 10 reasons for switching to an electric vehicle.
7. What is EV Etiquette?
See question 5 and even as New Zealand’s charging network expands, you may have to wait at a charging station occasionally. Fortunately, those early adopters of electric vehicles put together a set of charging etiquette that helps prevent bad behaviour. ChargeNet helped in the development and fully supports, the official EV Charging Etiquette.
8. What can I do while I charge my EV?
Around 80 per cent of charging will likely take place at your home. When it comes to fast charging, location is everything. Our recent customer survey data reveals that drivers prefer to charge their vehicles at convenient locations such as supermarkets, highway rest stops, and public carparks, with places to grab a coffee and a bathroom break. This underscores the importance of integrating charging infrastructure into daily life. The ChargeNet app makes it easy to find a location near amenities, including malls, parks, libraries, restaurants, supermarkets and shopping centres around the country.
Most EV drivers will use a combination of destination charging (as above), public slow charging and public fast charging stations when they’re out on the road. ChargeNet charging stations are conveniently located near amenities, allowing you to explore the surrounding area, grab a coffee, walk the dog, clear emails or check social media. You can also use charge time to plan your route, explore nearby attractions, or simply relax.
9. What sort of tips and etiquette does ChargeNet have for EV drivers, particularly new ones?
We’ve compiled 10 essential EV charging tips to help new drivers charge their vehicles efficiently and effectively – from choosing the right charging station to understanding charging speeds.
· Plan your trip in advance
· Charge where you’re staying or before you leave,
· Download EV trip planning applications
· Check the ChargeNet app before you leave,
· Use shorter, more frequent charging sessions
· Remember and follow EV etiquette
· Having a plan B for where to charge
· Take back-up cables
· Explore the whole range of charging options
For more information: charge.net.nz/knowledge-article/10-ev-charging-tips-for-new-drivers