What are the benefits of driving an electric vehicle?
- EV’s are cheaper to run (charging is much cheaper than refuelling).
- They’re quicker.
- They’re quieter.
- They’re green as! Running on New Zealand’s 80% renewable energy.
- You often get priority parking.
- They are more reliable. There is less that can break.
- They’re easier to maintain. There is less you have to ‘top up’.
So why wouldn’t you drive one? The answer is, you should! However, there are a couple things you should know before taking off in an EV which will make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.
About Electric Vehicles
Most people would agree that the benefits of Smartphones outweigh the old 'brick' phones even although their batteries would last a week. Well, EVs are similar in the sense that most people charge them every night and most will last the day, depending on your level of use, but you can always top them up when required.
If you are renting an EV for daily use from your home, you will have to consider what charging equipment to have in your home. But you can wake up to a fully charged car, ready to go! No more refuelling required when you’re running late or wondering whether you’ll make it to that meeting with your fuel light on.
You’d have to be driving a considerable distance to or during work (>120km) before you’d need to recharge your car. Many businesses are installing EV chargers for staff and customers, especially around Auckland City. If there isn’t a charging station at work, there is likely one close by. Check Plugshare for locations.
The most popular EV in New Zealand, the Nissan Leaf, commonly has a range of around 120km, which will easily get most people to work, the supermarket and back home on one charge. Other high end EVs have larger ranges (200-450km).
According to electricvehicles.govt.nz, the cost of driving an electric vehicle is equivalent to paying $0.30 per litre of fuel. Imagine the cost savings you could make when touring around New Zealand. Overnight, charging an EV will cost you $3 per 100km, so if you’re doing a standard 41km per day, charging will cost you $37 per month and save you $175 per month on fuel!
There are already more than 500 charging stations across New Zealand with more being added.
Plugshare is a great resource for anyone using an EV. The maps show the locations of all Electric Vehicle charging stations around New Zealand. As you can see, Auckland already has a pretty dense network of charging stations.
Click Trip Planner, enter your start and destination and it will identify all the charging stations along your route, within a 10km (6 mi - default) distance from your planned route. You can change this search radius to make sure you never have to detour too far in order to find a charge.
Many of the electric vehicle charging stations around New Zealand are part of the Chargenet network, with others being installed by electric companies (like Vector), local businesses (such as Nissan dealers) and councils.
Just make sure you know what type of plug the EV you are renting will take. Plugshare allows you to filter search results by plug type to make sure you don’t end up at the wrong one.
Is New Zealand behind the times?
Yes, but we’re catching up fast. With EECA, NZTA, Ministry of Transport, the Electric Vehicles initiative and organisations like Drive Electric, The Better NZ Trust and Sustainable Business Network, initiatives for an increased EV fleet and more charging infrastructure are already well underway.
Touring New Zealand
Take for example a two-week road trip around New Zealand, driving 200km per day. In a petrol car, you would spend $364 on petrol. In an EV you would spend $84 charging, saving you $280 on your trip!
You live in Auckland and commute to and from work each day, driving above average 80km per day. In a petrol car, you would spend $94.71 on petrol each week. In an EV you would spend $16.80 charging, saving you $77.91 each week! Or over $4,000 a year.
Assumptions: Petrol car: Nissan Tiida, 6.8L/100km efficiency (urban/ex combined), 7.2L/100km (urban), petrol $1.90/L.Electric car: Nissan Leaf, $3/100km recharge.
Check out some of YourDrive's electric vehicles: