Over 1300 EVs registered in first month of Clean Car Discount

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Words: Matthew Hansen
21 Jul 2021

While full Motor Industry Association figures for the first full month of the government’s Clean Car Discount are still to be released, numbers for the first 19 days of July show a huge surge of new plug-in registrations.

According to information released to Stuff by the Ministry of Transport, 1,357 new and used plug-in vehicles (fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids included) were registered between July 1 and July 19. Some 71.4 plug-ins have been sold every day; an approximate increase of 300 per cent relative to the first six months of the year.

With another 12 days to include before the month closes, it’s a figure that will no doubt increase. Full MIA July new-car data will be released in early August, profiling which new models are the biggest sellers.

The eye-opening momentum is unlikely to continue at its current rate, with most local commentators predicting significant supply issues for both new and used EVs down the track.

Transport Minister Michael Wood says the figures are “positive early signs”, but added that it’s only early days for the scheme. “Overall we are comfortable with the rollout, and there is good evidence that Kiwis across the country are keen to get into cleaner cars when we put the right policies in place,” he told Stuff.

The figures already represent a significant rise when compared to June. While June’s plug-in registrations showed a slight dip compared to previous months, it wasn’t the plummet that some expected as car dealers around the country put off sales of plug-ins until customers could claim their rebates on July 1.

All up, 394 new plug-ins were registered in June. The Tesla Model 3 was the only plug-in to exceed three figures at the time, with 222 registered in June. It’s yet to be seen how many of the 1,357 registrations recorded this month so far are new vehicles.

The Clean Car Discount was a central point of debate at last week’s Groundswell NZ protests, held at 55 centres around New Zealand. The farmer-led protests rallied against the rebate and numerous other government schemes; farmers expressing the view that they feel unfairly targeted by Labour’s emissions legislation.

In the new-car fleet, it’s expected that the aforementioned Model 3 and MG’s ZS EV will be the biggest winners. The former received another hefty discount earlier this month; its entry-level Standard Range+ variant now priced from $66,900 plus on-road costs. The ZS, meanwhile, is still the country’s cheapest pure electric vehicle, priced from $48,990.

With the government’s $8,625 discount for new EVs included, each model is effectively priced from $58,275 and $40,365, respectively.

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