EV adoption has sky-rocketed in recent years in New Zealand with auto manufacturers continuing to develop technology to provide the best driving experience and stay ahead of the competition. But where are EV drivers charging these new vehicles? A recent study by EECA revealed 97% are charging at home, around 80% doing so frequently.
If you’re building a new home, planning a new development, or wiring anything in-between you’ll want to ensure your electrician is following industry best practices and wiring to accommodate future EV charging technology.
Why wire for a ‘smart’ EV charger?
Home electronics are also evolving and becoming smarter, and EV charging is quickly forming part of this eco-system of Internet of Things (IoT) connected technology. It’s important for homeowners and developers to understand the benefits of smart EV chargers and prepare a new build to accommodate this technology.
Many EVs come with a wall plug charger as standard, but this basic charging equipment is quickly becoming insufficient to charge long range EVs with bigger battery packs. They also lack the same safety features and environmental / economical benefits of an installed smart EV charger.
How to pre-wire a home for a smart charging
It’s crucial to prepare a new build with a wiring solution upfront that will allow for future installation of this equipment rather than having this work done down the track.
To enable these smart charging benefits, some EV chargers require additional components and/or cabling that allows them to incorporate smart features via an internet connection. Regardless of the EV charger installed, Evnex recommends preparing any new development using the following guidelines.
These best practices are a great starting point to follow to install a fully functionally smart EV charger (such as Evnex’s 7.4kW E2 and X-Series chargers) and those which require add-ons.
1) A dedicated 32A 2+E final sub-circuit for a single-phase or three-phase EV charger.
2) Mains-rated 2 Pair Screened Instrumentation cable (e.g. LAPP-2170240 or equivalent) between the main switchboard and EV charger location.
• Consider factors such as cable length (500mm for termination at EVCP end and 1m at the supply end), volt drop, derating factor, and installation method.
• There is no need to segregate mains-rated cables.
• Install a flush box, 1.2m from finished floor/ground level
Electrical advantages of smart EV chargers
Installed EV chargers are power-hungry equipment and can take up to half of a standard NZ home’s 63-amp capacity*. Smart-enabled features like home overload protection are perfect for situations where there is high electricity demand or simultaneous use of other appliances. In these cases, some smart chargers can dynamically adjust their charging rate to avoid surpassing the available electrical capacity.
This helps provide homeowners peace of mind their home’s electrical integrity won’t be compromised or overloaded by optimising the speed of their charge. *Using a 7.4kW 32-amp Fast AC charger as an example.
Anticipate government regulation of smart charging technology
At present, the New Zealand Government & energy sector are seeking input into the future of EV charging in the country, including the potential regulation of smart chargers as standard practice. By planning ahead for any upcoming decisions, developers and electrical contractors can set their clients at ease, knowing that their properties are pre-wired for all types of intelligent EV chargers.
Economic and environmental benefits of charging smarter
A genuine smart charger will enable EV owners to monitor their energy consumption and electricity costs from their EV charging sessions. This information helps EV owners align their charging schedules with the cleanest and most affordable times to charge their vehicle based on their electricity tariff, and local grid emissions.
Solar EV charging is a great smart feature that can provides both these benefits by harnessing solar energy export to charge an EV for free with cleanly sourced energy.
It’s conceivable that energy providers will also look to utilise this IoT technology and incentivise homeowners with smart appliances, such as EV chargers, to help manage the growing demand on the electrical grid.
Ensuring any new build is pre-wired to ‘best-practice’, will give peace of mind that a compliant, fit for purpose EV charger that is compatible with any electric vehicle can be installed. Thus avoiding the worst-case scenario of having to run extra cabling at a later stage, when it could have easily been managed at the time of wiring—keeping your customers happy.
Get advice for all things EV charging
With years of experience in designing, manufacturing and project managing EV charger installations across New Zealand and Australia, Evnex specialises in residential, workplace, and multi-tenanted EV charging solutions. We can provide a range of bespoke services and assist homeowners, businesses, developers, electricians and engineers with recommendations that will ensure the EV charging solution they want is fit-for-purpose.
Our intelligent EV chargers offer all the above mentioned smart enabled features, including ongoing consumer support and updates via the smart charger’s internet connection. We also monitor and support our own growing network of installed EV chargers across New Zealand and Australia.
To get help and answers to your EV charging questions, please reach out to the sales team at Evnex on 0800 395 007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.