EVNEX sparking a change in charging
If New Zealand reaches its target of 64,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2021, one company with top of the south connections can quite rightly pat itself on the back.
Essentially, Christchurchbased EVNEX is all about smarter use of energy, which may well increase the uptake of vehicles through innovative technology.
Run by Nelson
College alumni and
Canterbury University educated electrical engineer Edward
Harvey, the company aims to help customers have more control over how they charge their vehicles, and where that energy comes from.
EVNEX isn’t focusing on high power DC charging just yet. Instead, they’re designing low cost charging stations, intended primarily for home and destination charging in places like public car parks and malls.
EVNEX’s first product will be a connected home charger, designed to save EV drivers money, giving them the ability to charge according to spot prices, and take advantage of EV charging tarriffs.
Ed’s older brother Henry now works for EVNEX, having built his own yellow R142 roadbike under the Reesimo Motors banner as a personal project to learn about electronics and electric vehicles in general.
Although working on a prototype vehicle in his spare moments, Henry’s priority is now designing the protective enclosure for EVNEX’s hardware.
The brothers’ early EV projects offered them an insight into the industry, where they realised just how big the market was going to become.
‘‘Converting vehicles from petrol to electric is very time consuming and the numbers don’t really stack up as a business unless you are doing multiple identical vehicles – even then you are dealing with a vehicle chassis that is not optimised for a large battery pack,’’ Henry said.
‘‘Charging technology with internet connectivity made sense, because it opens up tens of new business models around managed electric vehicle charging and using electric vehicles to help stabilise the electricity grid,’’ Edward said.
Edward also agreed the public perception of electric vehicles over the last year had increased massively, supported by corporate initiatives such as Air New Zealand’s fleet of EVs.
However, technology misconceptions, lack of charging stations and few vehicle options in NZ remained stumbling blocks in getting the public on-side with the EV concept, he said.
With the energy industry going through a huge change over the next couple of years, homeowners would soon have more freedom over how they buy, sell and store their electricity.
As a result, Edward anticipated electric vehicle chargers would also become an important part of that ecosystem
‘‘We’ve built our hardware from the ground up to support these technologies, and we’re excited to be a part of the industry as it changes over the next couple of years.’’ At September 2017, there were
4,909 electric and hybrid light vehicle registrations in New Zealand, with around 300 a month since June this year.
New Zealand’s Electric Highway of currently comprises 634 charging stations, comprising of fast-charge locations and an emerging network of public and private plug stations. In announcing its EV policy in 2016, the National Government set a target of having 64,000 EVs on the nations roads by 2021.
Ed Harvey, founder of EVNEX.