How to Open an EV Charging Station in New Zealand: Business Plan, Setup Cost, Profit, License/Permit

The EV charging station is rapidly growing all over New Zealand as major motor vehicle manufacturers release electric vehicles priced to suit every household budget in various models. An EV charging station allows electric vehicles to recharge their batteries. These stations typically have high-power charging equipment that can charge an electric vehicle in a shorter time than it would take to charge at a standard home outlet. As a result, opening an EV charging station can be a lucrative business venture in New Zealand.

How to Open an EV Charging Station in New Zealand
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How to open an EV charging station in New Zealand

Scope of EV charging station business in New Zealand

The EV charging station business in New Zealand is still in its early stages but is growing rapidly. The number of EVs on the road is increasing, and so is the demand for EV charging stations. There are currently around 1,000 public EV charging stations in New Zealand, most located in Auckland and Christchurch. An EV charging station is a public or private facility where electric vehicle owners can recharge their batteries. These stations are usually located near highways, shopping centers, or other high-traffic areas.

Additionally, as the electric vehicle market continues to grow, your investment in an EV charging station will likely increase in value. With some planning and research, you can set up a successful business that helps contribute to a cleaner, greener future for the country. The market for EV charging stations in New Zealand is still relatively small but is growing rapidly. To be successful in this business, it is important to understand the scope of the market and have a good understanding of the regulations.

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EV Charging Station
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EV charging station types in New Zealand

When choosing an EV charging station, it is important to consider the needs of your particular electric vehicle. Some EVs require a special adapter to use certain charging equipment, so check compatibility before purchasing. A comprehensive EV charging infrastructure is three types:

  1. Public – open for any EV owner to use
  2. Commercial – only EVs used for commercial travel can use one
  3. Private – residential / restricted use

There are three types of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in New Zealand:

  • Level 1: These charge EVs using a standard 120-volt outlet and deliver up to 2.3 kilowatts (kW) of power. They typically take 8-10 hours to charge an EV completely.
  • Level 2: These charge EVs using a 240-volt outlet and deliver up to 7 kW of power. They typically take 3-4 hours to charge an EV completely.
  • Fast chargers: These can charge EVs using a 480-volt or 800-volt outlet and deliver up to 50 kW of power.

Requirements to start an EV charging stations business in New Zealand

  • You must have a registered business and appropriate business insurance. 
  • Purchase or lease a commercial property that meets the required standards for EV charging stations. 
  • Install the EV charging equipment and have it tested and approved by the local authorities.

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EV Charging Station Logo
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Business plan for an EV charging station in New Zealand

  • Firstly, you need to have a solid business plan. This plan should include an analysis of the potential market for your services and a financial projection of your costs and revenues.
  • You’ll also need to obtain the necessary permits and approvals from your local authorities. Once your station is up and running, you’ll need to promote it effectively so that EV owners are aware of its existence and can use it when they need to recharge their batteries. Finally, develop a business plan for your EV charging station, including financial projections and marketing strategy.
  • Secure funding for your EV charging station business, including government grants or private investment.
  • Choose a suitable location for your EV charging station, considering local competition and demand.
  • Obtain any necessary permissions and licenses from local authorities to operate an EV charging station in your chosen location.
  • Source and install the equipment needed for your EV charging station, including chargers, cabling, and signage.
  • Market your EV charging station business to potential customers using traditional and online marketing methods.
  • Monitor your EV charging station usage and make any necessary adjustments to pricing or operations to ensure profitability.

How to start an EV charging station business in New Zealand?

You’ll need a flat, level surface to install the equipment and access an electrical supply. It’s also important to consider the traffic flow in the area and the proximity of other businesses or amenities that might attract EV users. Once you’ve selected a suitable location, you’ll need to prepare the site for installation. This includes clearing debris, leveling the ground if necessary, and excavating trenches required for underground wiring. The next step is to purchase the equipment needed for your EV charging station.

This includes the charger, cabling, and any other necessary hardware. Once you have the equipment, you must install it at your chosen location. The process will vary depending on the charger you’re using (AC or DC), but all components must be properly installed and connected before proceeding. Next set connect the power grid for your EV charging station. This is typically done by working with your local utility company to obtain the necessary permits and approvals. Once everything is in place, your charger will be ready to start.

Few things to start an EV charging station in New Zealand:

  1. Location – Charging stations should be located in convenient, easy-to-access areas.
  2. Choose the right equipment – High-quality, reliable equipment is essential for providing a good customer experience.
  3. Permits – Apply for any necessary permits or approvals from your local council or utility company. This will vary depending on where you live, so it’s best to check with your local authorities to see what’s required. Next, install your EV charging station according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once installed, be sure to test it out to make sure everything is working properly.
  4. Promote your business – Make sure potential customers know about your charging station by promoting it through marketing and advertising channels. Let your community know you have a new charger by putting up signs, distributing flyers, or even creating social media posts.

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EV Charging Point
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Important organizations to promote the use of electric vehicles in New Zealand

The Electric Vehicle Association of New Zealand (EVA NZ) is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of electric vehicles in New Zealand. They can provide advice and support on setting up EV charging infrastructure, as well as helping to connect you with other businesses and individuals involved in the EV industry.

The second organization that can help is the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE). MBIE provides information and guidance on various business-related topics, including setting up an EV charging station. Finally, your local council may also assist with setting up an EV charging station.

EV charging stations for the public in New Zealand

Electric vehicle charging stations are everywhere: councils, shopping centers, and workplaces. They are usually more expensive to use than residential ones because the cost varies depending on several factors, the main ones being:

  • Number of stations and charging ports being set up
  • Type of installation used
  • Specific site requirements

For example, a public charging station with a single port will use hardware anywhere from two to three thousand dollars, depending on the brand installed and the features it offers. This is what the NZ government has to say about public charging station costs, as it steadily leads the nation toward a petrol-free future.

Minimum requirements for a public EV charging network

  • Safety – the charger must offer a minimum Mode 3 or 4 charges; it must be specifically designed and intended for general public use; all chargers accessible to the street have to be endorsed by the local authority that controls the road in that area.
  • Reliability – the charging operator must monitor the charger in real-time; all rapid charging stations must be open to the public.

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EV Charging Process
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EV charging station setup cost in New Zealand

Setting up an EV charging station will vary depending on many factors, including the type of charger you choose, the number of chargers you need, and the installation costs. For example, a public charging station with a single port will use hardware anywhere from $2000 to 3000, depending on the brand installed and the features it offers. This is what the NZ government has to say about public charging station costs, as it steadily leads the nation toward a petrol-free future.

Are there enough EV charging stations in New Zealand?

There are thousands of electric vehicle charging stations across New Zealand. You can find them in public areas such as supermarket car parks, shopping malls, campgrounds, tourist spots, and beaches.

Time to build an EV charging station in New Zealand

It takes approximately 3 to 4 months to build an EV charging station in New Zealand. The process involves obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from the local authorities, finding a suitable location, and installing the chargers and associated equipment. Once operational, an EV charging station can provide a convenient and reliable power source for electric vehicle owners.

Tips to be successful in the EV charging stations business in New Zealand

  • The first step is to secure the necessary permissions and approvals from your local authorities. This can be done by applying resource consent, which will need to include detailed information about the proposed charging station.
  • Once the proposal accepts by your local authorities, you can start securing a site for your charging station. This site needs good access to the electricity grid and a suitable space for installing the charge points.
  • Once you have a site secured, you can then begin the process of installing the charging infrastructure. This includes connecting the charge points to the electricity supply and installing any necessary signage and safety equipment.
  • Then, you can start promoting your new EV charging station to potential customers. This can be done through online listings, local advertising, or word-of-mouth recommendations. Make sure your station is easily accessible and visible to potential customers.
  • Many EV owners use apps or membership cards to pay for their charging, so it’s important to have these options available. In addition, EV owners are often particular about their charging equipment, so ensuring yours is in good condition will help attract business.

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EV Charging
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Who are the biggest EV charging companies in New Zealand?

  1. ChargeNet has become New Zealand’s first public electric vehicle charging network to partner with a loyalty program. ChargeNet is New Zealand’s largest public electric vehicle charging station provider, with over 100 stations nationwide. They offer both AC and DC charging and have a variety of membership plans to suit different needs.
  2. Ecotricity is another large player in the New Zealand EV market, with over 60 stations across the country. They also offer AC and DC charging, with a range of monthly membership plans available.

Can a foreigner open an EV charging station in New Zealand?

Yes, a foreigner can open an EV charging station in New Zealand. 

Conclusion

EVs are becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand as the country is taking steps towards a sustainable future. With the right location and marketing, a charging station can attract a steady stream of customers and generate significant revenue. The country has a rapidly growing population of electric vehicle owners, and the demand for charging infrastructure is expected to grow. EV charging stations can be found in various locations, including parking garages, shopping centers, and workplaces.

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