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Electric vehicles must be sold with safe chargers

How to get your hands on a safe electric vehicle charger

By Trade Me 5 February 2021

Looking after your electric vehicle by making sure your charger is safe

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are awesome. They’re cheap to run, great for the planet, and really fun to drive. Charging an EV at home is a convenient and popular option for many owners.

With more and more EVs hitting our roads, it’s really important that they’re sold with chargers which are safe to use in New Zealand.

The large majority of EVs sold in New Zealand are imported from Japan, where the electricity voltage differs. A number of these vehicles (most often the Nissan Leaf) are imported with original 200V Japanese chargers (EVSEs), which are sometimes modified for use in New Zealand.

The bottom line is that these chargers are not designed for New Zealand, and should not be used here. The higher voltage used in New Zealand can mean the components in the chargers can deteriorate and become a safety risk, not to mention they can be illegal to use.

If you’re selling an EV on Trade Me, and are including a charger in the sale, it needs to be safe for use in New Zealand.

Any charger sold should be produced to comply with New Zealand safety standards, and 'in trade' suppliers of these devices should be able to produce a SDoC (supplier declaration of compliance) to prove compliance.

While this extends to both private and dealer sales, Registered Motor Vehicle Traders have a clear obligation to ensure the goods they sell are safe under both the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 and the Consumer Guarantees Act.

We take this really seriously and will remove listings from the site where an unsafe or unapproved EV charger is included, or supporting safety documentation cannot be supplied to us on request.

If you suspect your EV charger is a modified Japanese unit, or has a plug that doesn’t look right, stop using it and consult your electrician.

While we’ve provided some information in this area, we’re not the experts – the team at Worksafe have produced an excellent guide for safely charging EVs.

Image Creative Commons licence Noya Fields


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Written by one of Trade Me motoring experts - giving you advice on used cars, new cars, boats, motorbikes, dirt bikes, caravans, trucks, trailers and more.