Planning for an EV future

If, in 20 years, a large number of Kiwi homes have an electric vehicle (EV) charging in the garage each night, significant changes will need to be made to Powerco’s network to support customer choices and energy efficiency.

To prepare for the future, we’re running a three-year project to better understand the way Kiwi EV drivers charge their vehicles at home. We will install EV smart charging units into the homes of participants for free and collect information about their charging habits and its impact on our network.  

This will help us better understand the network requirements as uptake in EVs increase – and to ensure EV owners have a positive experience using the network to charge their vehicles. 

At the end of the three-year period, participants will get to keep the EV smart charger/install package (worth around $3750) for free*.

*T&Cs apply – see below

PLEASE NOTE: The online recruitment survey for this project is currently CLOSED. Please check back soon for an update.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone further about the project, please contact 0800 387 765 or email future.energy@powerco.co.nz


 Our Smart EV Charging Project at a glance

What

Powerco will install EV smart charging units into the homes of up to 80 participants. This smart charger/install package (worth around $3750) includes the Evnex smart charger as well as the cabling. We’ll collect information from the smart chargers, electricity retailer and the charger app. At times we’ll manage when the units operate to avoid periods of high electricity demand.

How

The smart charger used for this project is the Evnex R Series charging unit, rated at 7.4 kilowatts. These smart chargers will be installed at participants’ homes for free. The units can send, receive and collect data, allowing us to see when you charge your EV at home. Later in the project, we will also manage the periods during which you charge, to avoid times of peak electricity demand.

There is no expectation for participants to submit their data. We know your time is precious and don’t anticipate this project being at all onerous for you. The only time we’ll reach out for your involvement will be during the managed charging stage of the project; you will occasionally be asked to complete a short online survey answering some questions about the managed charging.


Where

We’re looking for EV owners from across the North Island living in areas where Powerco delivers electricity. This includes, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, South Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

When

Recruitment for participants begins in September 2020, followed by scheduled house visits so we can ensure a smart charger can be installed. We hope to have all smart chargers installed in participants’ homes by January 2021. At this time, we can begin collecting data on charging habits. The project will run for three years, with an option to opt-out at the end of the second year.


What’s involved 

Smart EV Charging Project timeline

Recruitment of project participants

  • 80 places available (participants must live in area of Powerco’s electricity networks)
  • Selected participants sign Participant Agreement.
  • Installation of the smart chargers in participants’ homes.

Project begins

  • Year 1 of the project begins, with a focus on collecting baseline data from the smart chargers.
  • Some managed charging begins.

Year 2 of project

  • Year 2 of the project will look at further managed charging. Participants will be split into groups and given different charging schedules.
  • At the end of the year, participants have the option to opt-in for a third year.

Conclusion

  • Year 3 of the project will focus on load management, simulating a new market offering by opening it to third parties.
  • At the end of the project, participants have the option to keep the smart charger for free*.

What is a home smart charger?

An smart charger is a device hardwired into the household electrical system, either in the garage or adjacent to the EV carpark. 

Smart chargers have a communication link to an operating system which records information on charging activity and allows them to be controlled remotely.

When a vehicle is plugged into a smart charger it can manage a range of functions including the timing and speed of charging that take place.

Smart chargers give users the ability to access off-peak rates for electricity where those rates are offered by energy retailers.

Smart chargers can charge an EV much faster than a standard wall socket. The ability to schedule charging times can help to avoid peak demand on the network. 

By charging off-peak you generally use electricity generated from a higher percentage of renewable sources so create a lower carbon footprint and further assist with national emissions reductions.


Participant Agreement

To participate in the Smart EV Charging Project, you’ll be asked to accept the terms of the Participant Agreement. Read the full terms here.

As part of the agreement, Powerco will:

  • assess your property to see if it meets our requirements for the Smart EV Charging Project. If it does, we’ll install a smart charger at your property.
  • collect, use and share data from the smart charger and app.
  • buy the smart charger and pay for its installation at your property.
  • own the smart charger during the 3-year project period.
  • give the smart charger to you at the end of the 3-year project period – for free!* – as long as the agreement hasn’t been terminated beforehand e.g. because of a breach, or because you choose to exit early.
  • repair, replace or remove the smart charger if it fails while we own it (unless you caused it to fail).
  • manage the amps the smart charger delivers to your electric vehicle (until ownership transfers to participants), and we may temporarily reduce the amps to zero.
  • remove the smart charger from your property if the agreement is terminated before the end of the project period. If we cause damage when we remove the smart charger, we’ll fix it.
  • only be liable to you for loss or damage to your physical property caused by the smart charger being faulty or not properly installed, or by our breach of the agreement or negligence.

By signing the agreement, you’ll:

  • use the smart charger to charge your vehicle.
  • give us access to electricity use data for your property, through your smart meter, which will obtain direct from your retailer.
  • give us (and our contractors) access to your property to install, maintain, repair, replace, upgrade or remove the smart charger.
  • complete surveys we send you about how you use and operate the smart charger.
  • have the option to exit on the first or second anniversary in which case you can buy the smart charger from us.
  • pay all other costs (except for the cost to buy and install the smart charger at your property) e.g., your electricity charges for your property, the running costs of your vehicle, insurance etc. You won’t be paid to participate in the project.
  • have all your rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.

When will the agreement end?

The Smart EV Charging Project will run for three years, with the option to opt-out at the end of the second year. You can terminate the agreement at any time prior to this by giving us 21 days’ notice and likewise, so can Powerco. A shorter notice period (14 days) applies if there has been a breach of the agreement by you or us.

We care about your privacy

If you participate in the Smart EV Charging Project, we’ll collect a lot of personal information about you and data about your use of the smart charger.  We’ll collect this directly from you as well as from your electricity retailer (through the smart meter on your property), from the contractor who installs the smart charger at your property, from the smart charger itself and from the app that you use with the smart charger. Except where necessary for the specific use of any particular data we collect, we’ll remove any identifying information about you and your property from that data.  The Privacy Act 1993 and our Privacy Policy apply to all data that is your personal information.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information check out our FAQ's page.

Last Updated: 02 Nov 2020 - 03:15:08