Frequently asked questions
Below are some answers to commonly asked questions regarding the location, use, and safety of our EV chargers.
There are two types of public charging stations we’ve installed in central Canterbury and Christchurch to encourage EV use. The first type is what’s commonly known as a fast charger. Fast chargers typically take about 20 to 30 minutes to charge an EV, depending on the type of EV. The second type of charging station is known as a standard charger. Standard chargers deliver electricity at a slower rate to the EV than a fast charger does. Depending on the EV, it normally takes one to six hours to charge with a standard charger.
An EV doesn’t need to be fully charged to start – often public chargers are used just to boost an EV’s battery to allow the owner to get to where they need to go that day. Fully charging at home overnight is commonly undertaken by EV owners using cheaper night time electricity. At home EV owners can simply plug into any standard three pin plug, or purchase a charging unit that can be permanently installed on the garage wall.
Unfortunately, many different types of EV plugs and sockets exist on the world market. So the type of EV you have will determine which public chargers you may be able to use. We’ve endeavoured to install chargers that cover all of the most common brands of EVs available in New Zealand.
For safety reasons, the fast chargers have specially designed cables attached which simply plug into your EV. This is due to the high amount of electricity delivered by these chargers. For standard chargers, in line with New Zealand guidelines,cables aren’t attached so you’ll need to provide your own cable. If you don’t have a cable, they can be purchased on the Internet relatively easily and cheaply. The type of cable you need depends on the type of EV.
EV drivers may be required to pay to use public chargers to cover the cost of the EV charger installation and the cost of the electricity supplied.
EV drivers will pay to use our fast chargers, as they’re very expensive to install. Currently there's no charge to use our standard chargers although we may introduce fees for these chargers at a later date.
To use a charging station you’ll need to:
- register and create an account at charge.net.nz
- after creating an account, a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag can be ordered which will allow you to use any of our chargers
- if you need to use a charger before your RFID tag has arrived, or if you don’t have your RFID tag handy, you can still activate a charger with your phone:
- browse to charge.net.nz/my/station and click the green Start Charge icon next to the appropriate station. Stations are listed in order from north to south
- or download the plugshare app onto your smartphone and “check in” at the station. You must have your plugshare email address listed on your charge.net.nz account
- or TXT message. Simply text Charge [Station Number] to 226. You must have your mobile number listed on your charge.net.nz account for this option to work
- finally if you have any problems, just phone 0800 2CHARGE (0800 224 274) and the charge.net.nz team can activate the station for you.
Depending on who owns an EV charger there will be different terms and conditions of use. If you are using a charger that refers you to this website for terms and conditions, these are the terms that apply to the use of that charger.
Our charging stations are fairly easy to use. It’s a lot like using a petrol pump only cheaper and less polluting.
- Park your EV so the charge socket on your car is within reach of the charger, and turn off your EV.
- Follow the instructions displayed on the charger, until charging begins.
- If you want to stop charging before your EV is fully charged, simply select stop on the touch screen or push the stop/red button. Or if you want a full charge, wait until the charger indicates this has occurred.
- When charging is finished, simply unplug the cable. Some EVs do not allow the cable to be removed from the vehicle’s socket unless either all doors are unlocked or until the ‘unlock charge connector button’ on the vehicle’s key ring has been pressed.
Yes. Outside chargers are fully designed for use in the rain and for situations where the cable and plug may get wet, say, from being left lying in a puddle.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, push the emergency STOP button or turn the isolator switch to OFF. An EV charger will have one of these on it. Only do this if it is safe to go near the charger.
Please call our contact centre team on 0800 363 9898.
The chargers are designed so that if the charger or tethered cable is damaged, no power should be running through it. If you see any damage please call us on 0800 363 9898.
If the charger isn’t working, it’s most likely that either the emergency button has
been accidentally pushed or the isolator switch has mistakenly been turned to
OFF. After determining that the situation appears safe, release the emergency
button or turn the isolator switch back to ON. The charger should then return to
normal operation. If it doesn’t, please call us on 0800 363 9898.
We recommend you use the Plugshare.com website or app. This shows all
our chargers and the majority of other chargers available for public use in
New Zealand. For many EV chargers, the website also shows whether a charger is currently available for use or not. The Plugshare map is also shown here.
All public EV charging stations throughout New Zealand display the approved EV charging symbol shown below. The symbol was developed by the Christchurch City Council and approved by the NZ Transport Agency and can be found along state highways and local roads throughout the country.
The cheapest and easiest way is to charge an EV overnight at home. It also reduces the need for a bigger electricity system thereby saving the environment.
To find an EV charging station near you, please visit EV charging.
Find out more about the different types of electric vehicles currently on the market, by referring to page 3 of the guide here.