Electric Vehicle sales in New Zealand grow by 860%

Luke Parker
Electric Vehicle sales in New Zealand grow by 860%

In 2016, Kiwis bought 63 electric cars – the following year that figure grew by 860%.

Kiwis purchased 546 fully electric cars in New Zealand 2017, up from 63 in 2016.

And these numbers are set to only increase.

Well-known electric car manufacturer Tesla entered the New Zealand market last year and outdid any of its competitors selling 244 EVs to generate revenue of approximately $28.7 million.

The Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X, followed by the Hyundai Ioniq (206 sales), were the most popular fully electric cars sold around the country.

EVs diagram

Big-business kick-start

Westpac Commercial Manager, Nick Lardner, says we will start to see a lot more EVs on the road as large companies begin the process of converting their fleets to electric over the next 12 to 18 months.

“A group of New Zealand’s leading organisations have made a collective commitment to transition portions of their fleets.”

He says a significant portion of new cars in New Zealand are bought by businesses, so for there to be a real step change in the adoption of EVs, businesses need to come on board.

“The cost is higher when compared to their combustion engine equivalents, but one they’re willing to absorb to reduce CO2 emissions and help kick-start the industry.”

Westpac purchased three BMW i3 EVs in late 2016 and will begin to convert 30% of its entire fleet during 2018.

“This translates to almost 100 cars by the end of 2019 with 70 coming into the fleet during 2018.”

He says the new fleet of vehicles is expected to reduce Westpac’s carbon emissions by 200 tonnes per year.

Pricing dependant on just how electric you want to go

Nick believes EV prices will start to come down in the next few years.

“I think the capability will increase initially right before the prices come down. The price is currently hovering at around the $60,000 mark and they’re capable of driving around 200kms in one tank or one charge.

“These ranges will more than likely increase to 400kms, 500kms, 600kms over the next couple of years before new manufacturers enter the NZ market, and that’s when the price will start to drop.”

Nissan have just confirmed they are going to open their Nissan Leaf direct to the New Zealand public at the start of November this year.

Will I save money?

The answer is…yes and no.

When you compare a like for like car, an electric vehicle in the current market is going to be up to double the price of a petrol or diesel equivalent combustible one Nick says.

“You might spend $3,000 a year on fuel vs $500 per year on electricity, so you’d need to have the vehicle for a reasonable amount of time to cover the increased up-front cost.

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