Dunedin leads New Zealand in EV ownership

Jessica Satherley
Dunedin leads New Zealand in EV ownership

Dunedin has the highest proportion of electric vehicle drivers in New Zealand, according to a recent study by the University of Otago.

The South Island city boasts the highest number of pure EVs per capita, seeing 3.73 EVs for every 1,000 people, followed by Wellington which had 3.19.

Auckland had less than one fully electric vehicle per 1,000 people, but the big city dwellers seem to prefer hybrid cars.

Aucklanders own just over 2.60 plug-in hybrid cars per 1,000 residents, which is the highest number in the country.

However, when looking at total adoption numbers combining both pure EVS and plug-in hybrids, Auckland has just over 3.50 per 1,000 people, which still lags behind Dunedin and Wellington respectively.

The rate of combined pure EVS and plug-in hybrids in Dunedin is 4.34 per 1,000 people, whereas Wellington has 4.33.

EVs use electricity at the equivalent of 30c per litre of petrol, have no tailpipe emissions and reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels.

There are maintenance savings on EVs too, as a fully electric EV has only around 20 moving parts, compared to roughly 2,000 for a petrol vehicle.

Battery Electric Vehicles that exclusively run on electricity through batteries such as the Hyundai plug in have a range of 200km before they need to be recharged.

The Hyundai plug-in hybrid electric car, which first uses the battery before switching to petrol, has a range of 63km before it would start using its petrol reserves.

Westpac NZ, along with 30 other New Zealand organisations, is on track to convert 30 per cent of their car fleet to EVs by the end of 2019. Their analysis suggests that each full EV would reduce their carbon emissions by four tonnes per year.

The bank was inspired by Norway’s model of transitioning to EVs, as its government has stimulated the industry by removing taxes on the vehicles and investing in the right charging infrastructure. Norway has also exempted EV drivers from tolls and offers them free parking.

“We’ve learned a lot from talking to Norway’s industry’s body about their successful transition,’ Lead Commercial Manager at Westpac NZ, Linda Keating, said.

“They told stories about people queueing in blizzards to charge their cars. If they can do it, we can do it.”

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