Electric vehicle ready homes for today and beyond
By Stewart Bunn
Like most new technologies, many of us wait until after the tipping point of what seems like a trend before we invest or transition from what we knew and
This has certainly been the case with electric vehicles to date, with upgrades from conventional cars limited to a minority across the globe. Of course, price has been an issue for many in the past, but there have also been concerns about convenience when it comes to recharging and access to charging stations when you’re on the road. As an everyday user, the portable charging option only extends so far. Electric vehicles come with a portable charger as standard, however an overnight charge on a 3-pin plug supplies barely 50-60 kms worth of travel, which is far from sufficient if your job requires you to clock up the miles, or you’re a carpooling parent ferrying kids from one activity to the next and time is of the essence. You can forget road trips or weekends away on that too.
With governments globally recognising the need to increase adoption of electric vehicles, it’s the very near future indeed that will see many homeowners installing home charging docks on site to increase the flexibility of usage for them with their electric vehicles. Extending on from this, as availability of conventional vehicles declines and update of electric vehicles increases, future new homes will start to have EV charger connections included as a standard part of their build along with other fittings, fixtures, and power outlets.
Phasing this in however will depend on consideration being made around capacity of power from one property to the next. Each electrical device in a property requires a certain dedicated flow of power for it to function safely. When an electric vehicle charger is brought into the mix, it’s much easier for this to be integrated into the needs of the entire property at the outset, than for extensions on existing power supply to be pushed. If you are installing a charger to an existing property, it’s crucial to have a certified electrician advise you on the current consumption of the appliances across the property – from lights to heating, ovens to hot water systems – and what will be required to make the transition to upgrade. This may mean charging can only happen at a specific time of day – for example overnight, while other appliances are not being used. The goal is to find a solution that meets your everyday needs safely, while allowing for the maximum charging potential for the vehicle on a regular basis.
The New Zealand Government has introduced a Clean Car Discount policy, which aims to help the country reach its goal of being carbon neutral by making electric vehicles more affordable. In effect from 1 July 2021 and until 31 March 2022, rebates are being provided subject to funding limitations for eligible new and used light electric vehicles. More information is available here.
Of course, the vehicle manufacturer will advise you on the ideal scenario for charging before you invest in their product. As we still transition into the technology, some manufacturers will even subsidise the cost of installation of a home charging station as part of your purchase agreement.