09 February 2017
New NZ Electric / Hybrid Brand Sales : 2016
In 2015 81% of New Zealand's power came from renewable sources, the majority of that hydroelectric. Therefore the electricity is quite clean so an electric car is an environmentally sound choice. The problems are firstly the initial cost (as there are no purchase subsidies). An exemption from any road user tax has been put in place until electric (and I believe electric-hybrid too) reach 2% of the vehicle fleet.
The other problem is NZ is bigger than many realise and fairly sparsely populated. Charging points are not generally available outside of cities and not that common in them. So range anxiety is a real issue. So how is the NZ government's drive to get Kiwis into cars with some or total electric propulsion?
2016 sales of full electric:
Renault 39, Tesla 24, BMW 13, others 11, Total 87.
In 2015, 56 electric cars were sold and they were Tesla (S I assume) or Nissan Leaf models. The Leaf was pulled from the market and four more brands replaced it. Full electric success rating 2/10.
2016 sales of electric hybrid:
Toyota 1,065, Lexus 289, Mitsubishi 157, BMW 102, others 86. Total 1,699.
The elimination of range anxiety clearly helps with this sort of vehicle. For now the problem is just price and sales are not growing that fast (1,318 sold in 2015). Electric-hybrid success rating 5/10.
Summary: A lower purchase price and more efficient batteries would be major factors in encouraging the buying of this sort of vehicle new. One thing I haven't mentioned is that NZ has liberal importation laws for used cars and many of this sort of vehicle has arrived that way. Therefore the number hitting the roads each year is greater than the figures I've shown released by MIA NZ for new cars only. However, the article is about new cars.
Picture source: Toyota NZ.