Road Trip Ready: Everything Tesla Owners Need to Know About Public Charging

Road Trip Ready: Everything Tesla Owners Need to Know About Public Charging

If your planning a road trip around New Zealand, you'll need to know about the public charging options available to keep your Tesla fully charged. Fortunately, the number of public charging stations in the country has increased significantly in recent years.

According to the NZTA's map as of August 2022, there are now 340 public chargers for electric vehicles in New Zealand, a massive increase from just 20 in 2016.

NZTA Map EV Chargers in New Zealand

To access the NZTA map of EV Chargers in New Zealand go to:

In most areas across the country, there is at least one charging station available every 75 kilometers of state highway, as shown on the NZTA map. Electric vehicle chargers can be found in a range of public areas, such as supermarket car parks, shopping malls, campgrounds, tourist spots, and beaches.

Additionally, several major petrol companies have installed EV chargers at many of their sites, making it more convenient than ever to charge your car while on the go.

Types of Charging: AC and DC

There are two main types of public electric vehicle chargers available on New Zealand roads: AC and DC chargers. AC stands for alternating current, while DC stands for direct current.

All electric vehicles have built-in converters that convert AC power to DC power. When you plug your car into an AC charger, the car automatically converts the power to DC (via the inverter), which is then stored safely in the battery. As a result, AC chargers take longer to charge an EV than DC chargers. AC chargers are ideal for regular use and are often free of charge. It is recommended to use AC chargers while doing everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping.

DC chargers, on the other hand, are designed to convert energy from AC to DC before the power reaches the car, making them faster and more efficient. The power is fed directly into the battery, requiring less work from the EV. DC chargers are ideal for quickly topping up your EV battery and getting back on the road. However, it is not recommended to use public fast chargers too frequently, as they can wear down the battery over time.

Charging Times

The charging time for your Tesla will depend on the type of charger and how much energy you need to add to your battery. A 22kW charger would typically take around 5 hours to charge from 10% to 80%, while a 100kW charger would take approximately 35 minutes from 10% to 80%. Other factors that affect your charging speed are the ambient temperature, in-vehicle energy loads, battery condition and the car temperature.

It's important to note that the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 have a maximum charge potential of 11 kW with AC charging and 210 kW with DC charging.

What Do You Need to Charge Your Car When on the Road?

To charge your Tesla while on the road, you need to have access to a charging station that offers compatible charging options for your EV's battery. One of the key components of this process is having the right charging connector.

Here's what you need to know about the type of connector required for charging your Tesla Model Y or Model 3:

AC Charging Connectors: To charge your Tesla Model Y or Model 3 with alternating current (AC) power, you need an EV charging cable with a Type 2 connector (also known as Mennekes) on the charging station side, and a Type 2 connector on the car side. Our EV charging cables by LAPP have the option of either 11kW and 22kW charging cables with both Type 2 connectors on each end.  

Type 2 EV Charging Cable

(Courtesy of NZTA)

DC Charging Connectors: When it comes to charging your Tesla Model Y or Model 3 with direct current (DC) power, you need a Combined Charging System (CCS) connector on the charging station side, and a CCS connector on the car side. Tesla Model Y and Model 3 both support DC fast charging with a maximum charge rate of 210 kW. To take advantage of this charging speed, you will need to use a CCS connector.

Type 2 CCS Connector for DC Charging

(Courtesy of NZTA)

It's important to note that not all charging stations offer both AC and DC charging options, so it's essential to plan your route and charging stops in advance to ensure you have access to the type of charging connector you need.

In addition to the right charging connector, you may also need an access card or smartphone app to initiate the charging process and pay for the electricity you use. Some charging stations also require a payment method, such as a credit card, to pay for the electricity you use.

With this comprehensive guide, charging your Tesla in public doesn't have to be a hassle. Get ready to hit the road and enjoy the ride, knowing you have all the information you need to charge your car on the go.

Back to blog