EV Home Chargers: Cost and Comparison

There are better ways to charge than using the cable included with the vehicle.

May 24, 2024       12 min read
home charging

Trickle charging is slow and lacks any smart functionality.

Wall-mounted charging points offer the best solution for charging an EV at home. In a typical single-phase house, they will provide around 50 km of range per hour.

Some chargers take advantage of solar panels, load balancing, and offer extensive reporting or app-based control. They are the best option for workplace charging or apartments.

How much does it cost to install an EV charger?

Chargers are typically priced by the unit and require you to pay an electrician to install them.

The costs can mount up (expect to pay $800-$1200 depending on your setup). Typically, the further the charger is from your switchboard, the higher the cost.

However some charger providers offer installation as a package deal (which removes the hassle and uncertainty around total cost).

NOTE: A lower-cost unit + the cost of install could be more expensive than the cost of an installation package for a superior product.

EV charger comparison table

EVNEXWe.EVTeslaWallboxSmart EVVelocityEOMGSmappee
ModelE2Teltonika EVC16Gen 3 wall connectorPulsar PlusMini Pro 2Chargehub
Price of charger$1,395$1,350 (tethered)
$1,250 (socketed)
$850$1,995$895$1,395$1,500+$1,295$2,000+
Offers installationYes*Yes*Yes*
Rated Power7.4 kW7.4 kW7 kW7.4 kW7.4 kW7.4 kW7.2 kW7 kW7.4 kW
Dynamic Load BalancingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Solar matchingYesYesYesYesYes
OCPP 1.6YesYesYesYesYes
Cable length5m
(8m +$200)
5m7.3m5m5m10mSocket only (needs cable)5m8m
Colour optionsVolcanic, Stone, Sand, White (indoor only).White, Slate Grey, Wood, Burgundy or BrownWhite (Red, Blue, Black, Silver costs +$160)Black or whiteBlackBlackBlackBlack, grey, red.
Wifi ConnectionYesYes (but can operate without)YesYes (but can operate without)YesYes (but can operate without)YesYes
IP RatingIP 55IP 55IP 55IP 54IP 54IP 65IP 54?IP 54
Residual Current DetectionIntegrated (Type A + DC 6 mA)Integrated (DC 6 mA)*Integrated (Type A + DC 6 mA)External Type B RCD requiredIntegrated (Type A + DC 6 mA)Includes external Type B RCD Integrated (DC 6 mA)*?Integrated (Type A + DC 6 mA)
App featuresLive grid tracking, charging schedule.Charging schedule.
SuppliersEvnexWe.EV @ HomeTesla NZChargemaster, TransnetSmart EV ChargersVelocityYHI EnergyMG MotorsElectrical supplier
NotesDesigned and manufactured in NZ.Owned by WEL Networks, a community-owned EDB in the WaikatoSold by Chch-based EnergySmart

*Installation Packages

These companies offer complete install packages (no need to organise an electrician).

  1. Evnex + install: $2,395 (provided the chargepoint is within 3m from the switchboard).
  2. Velocity + install: $2,595 (provided the chargepoint is under 11m from the switchboard, note: also includes the more expensive RCD Type B – at no extra cost). Currently installs in Christchurch only.
  3. We.EV + install: $1,995 tethered and $1,895 untethered. (provided modern switchboard with space, located in garage, installed internally).

For all companies, if the distance from the switchboard is more than this, there may be more cost involved.

Companies without comprehensive install packages can often recommend electricians in different regions.

Why get a smarter charger?

Smart chargers can communicate with the grid, phone apps, or home management systems. They can adjust EV charging automatically to match changes in electricity costs or the owner’s remote commands.

  • The charger may integrate with the power supplier, taking advantage of the lowest wholesale price.
  • During peak load periods, power suppliers could throttle charging (and potentially offer financial incentives to do so).

According to EECA, smart charging could reduce peak winter demand by 1.9GW by 2030 (compared to non-smart charging).

What kind of charging socket does my EV have?

EVs in New Zealand have two different kinds of AC charging sockets. All Nissan Leafs have Type 1, and everything else has Type 2.

CCS and CHAdeMO are for public DC chargers only.

While some of the chargers listed offer a Type 1 cable, most Japanese import Leafs charge at 3.3 kW (unlike NZ new Leafs that can charge at 6.6 kW).

If installing a charger for a Leaf, consider opting for a socket only (i.e. no tethered cable). If you move to a Type 2 car, you need only get a different cable.

What is solar matching?

Solar matching adjusts your charging speed to match solar generation.

Some chargers allow a threshold (e.g., when more than 1.5 kW is generated, the charger starts). This leads to significant savings and avoids any grid power altogether.

What is dynamic load balancing?

Dynamic load balancing monitors the household load and adjusts charging accordingly.

EV charging is the single biggest power draw in your house.

How easy is it to overload my power supply?

Pole fuses are typically 60A (or 63A). Here’s a possible scenario in a larger house:

  • EV Charger – 32A
  • Large hot water cylinder heating – 12A
  • Heating on – 10A

Then someone turns the jug on (10A). That’s enough (in a single-phase house) to blow a fuse.

What’s OCPP?

OCPP 1.6 (Open Charge Point Protocol) allows other devices to talk to the charger (remote monitoring, control of the charging process, and data reporting).

My EV is capable of charging faster

Many EVs can charge at 11 kW (with a handful charging up to 22 kW).

This requires 3-phase power at the property, and the charger installed must be capable of using 3-phase power. Upgrading to a 3-phase can incur significant installation costs.

Can you set a charging limit (like 80%) on a home charger?

AC chargers know nothing of the car’s state of charge. It’s the car’s software that can stop charging at a predefined limit.

Most EVs have this setting in the dashboard (with a few notable exceptions, such as a Gen 2 Leaf). However, as chargers get smarter, communicating with the car becomes possible.

What does tethered or untethered mean?

A tethered charger means the cable is hardwired into the unit. Untethered means the charger has a socket – you must buy your own cable (around $220).

Buyer Beware

It’s not advisable to buy a charger from online stores overseas:

  • The Consumer Guarantees Act may not cover it.
  • You won’t get after-sales support.
  • Where do you go if something breaks?
  • If it is substandard and causes an electrical fault, your insurer will not be happy.

Residual Current Devices

What does an RCD do?

An RCD, or Residual Current Device, is a safety tool used in electrical systems. It constantly checks to ensure the same amount of electricity that goes into an appliance (like a toaster) comes back out.

If the RCD notices a problem, it quickly stops the electricity.

What’s RCD Type B?

NZ Worksafe guidelines say that RCDs for EV chargers should be Type B. Type B RCDs are more expensive (and take up more room on the circuit board) but offer the best level of protection.

However, an addendum to Worksafe says using a Type A RCD is okay, provided the charger has an inbuilt detection device for DC leakage (called an RDC-DD). This device is typically 6mA (tripping it would stop the charge).

A Type B RCD has more comprehensive leakage detection but is very expensive. In a rare situation, a tripped charger could stop charging (in the night) at a lower leakage than with an RCD B.

References

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