FAQ: Electric Cars
Why are electric vehicles more expensive?
The most expensive component of an EV is the lithium ion battery and these are expensive to manufacture, however the good news is that prices have fallen sharply over the past 5 years and General Motors has predicted that by 2022, the cost to produce an electric vehicle will be on parity with the cost to produce a combustion vehicle.
Where can I charge my electric vehicle?
The most common place to charge is at home, overnight. We like to describe EVs as iphones on wheels. Also, there is a rapidly growing network of public charging facilities. See Plugshare.
How long does it take to recharge?
That depends on the size of your battery and the capabilities of both your on-board charger and the charging station you’re connected to. At present, a fast charging network is being installed around NZ and these chargers will top up a Nissan Leaf with a 24kWh battery pack in 20-30 minutes. A Nissan Leaf being charged at 230 volts on a 15 amp circuit in your garage will take around 7 hours to charge from empty to full.
How environmentally friendly are electric vehicles?
In 2015, the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority commissioned a lifecycle assessment of electric vehicles. The study compared the lifecycle impacts of conventional petrol vehicles, conventional diesel vehicles, battery electric vehicles and plug in hybrid electric vehicles. Download the report here.
How long will the batteries last?
Electric vehicle batteries are designed to last 8 years under worst case duty cycles and environments and may last well beyond that for typical aging conditions. At the end of their useful life in a vehicle, they will retain up to 70% of their charge for many years following, hence companies like General Motors and Nissan have buy-back programs. The used batteries are aggregated and serve a second life in stationary energy storage for example storing solar energy.
How do running costs compare?
Electric vehicles cost a lot less to run than combustion vehicles. The fuel cost is the equivalent of petrol at 30 cents/litre, meaning the average kiwi motorist can save around $2000 per year in fuel costs. And, maintenance costs are significantly less. See the EV Calculator here.
What are the top four reasons electric vehicles make sense for NZ?
1.80% of NZ electricity comes from clean, renewable sources, and that percentage is growing. That means that not only are there zero emissions at the tailpipe, but that the emissions involved in producing the fuel are also very low.
2.There are 1.5 million household garages in NZ, most of which have a 230 volt outlet. For many vehicles, this can be used with no modification to charge overnight.
3.Our daily commutes are short, so current range limitations will not be an issue for most daily commutes. Also, (1) more and more public charging stations are being installed and (2) the next generation of electric vehicles will have 300kms of plug in range.
4.Reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels and growing the efficient use of our electricity infrastructure makes sense for New Zealand, and for New Zealanders.
FAQ: Electric Bikes
How long does it take to charge the battery?
Most electric bike batteries will fully charge from empty in 3 to 6 hours depending on the battery size.
How much does it cost to charge the battery?
In general it will cost $0.20 to $0.50 to charge an electric bike battery pack. This will depend on what your local electricity supplier charges.
Can I charge the battery by pedaling?
Some electric bikes have this feature but this requires a substantial amount of your pedal power, so be ready for one heck of a workout! Some of these same eBikes have regenerative braking that will charge the battery as you are braking, similar to the way electric cars do. This feature is not that common however, as it increases cost and provides only a small improvement in range.
How much do they cost?
Electric bikes range in price from $1800 to $10,000+ but the average price range for quality electric bikes is $2200 – $4000.
Can you get any exercise on an electric bike?
Absolutely! You decide how much exercise you want to get by adjusting the power assist level on the bike. One strategy is to commute to work with higher assist so you arrive with minimal to no sweat and then use a lower assist when riding home to get more of a work out and unwind from a long day. You can also push yourself to the limit knowing the electric power is there to help you get home.
How much do they weigh?
Generally electric bikes range from 20 to 27 kgs. Of course there are the exceptions on both sides of that range.