EVNEX spark­ing a change in charg­ing


The Leader (Tasman) - - GARDENING - TIM O'CON­NELL

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.

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