One of the best things about an electric car is the ability to charge cheaply at home overnight, and therefore remove the need to go out of the way to visit a petrol station. All EVs can charge by plugging into an ordinary 3-pin, 10amp plug, and EVs should be sold with a charging cable which can do this.
While most people recharge overnight in their garage, carport, driveway or at work, there will be times when you need to visit a public charging station. Find a public EV charging station here.
There are two types of light vehicle public charging station, which require two different fittings on your vehicle. One is AC (alternating current), and the other is DC (direct current).
DC Charging is a faster way to fill your battery, but the associated costs involved in installing DC charging stations means that this service is usually not free. Still it is a lot cheaper than petrol. These DC stations ought only to be used if you cannot charge at home so that you do not block them from travellers who depend on them. There are currently over 150 of these stations around New Zealand, and some do require you to have opened an account with the service provider before you can use them. You can not use your own cable at these stations (exception is the Tesla adaptor). Charging time is roughly around 25 minutes per 100km depending on circumstances.
There are hundreds of AC chargers around the country and these are usually free to use, but may have parking limits. Most require you to bring your own cable, and this will be a different cable to the one you use in a 3-pin plug. Charging is a lot faster than can be accomplished on a 3-pin plug too, but generally requires at least an hour to get a worthwhile charge. For that reason, they are usually installed in places where you are likely to be parked for a while, such as motels, malls, parking buildings, supermarkets. Wellington City Council is trialing street pole chargers.
If importing a vehicle yourself, be sure that it complies with our national public charging standards, which are as follows:
DC - CHAdeMO or CCS-2
AC - Type 2 (Mennekes)
Some EVs have both AC and DC charging options. Others only have AC.