The Ministry of Transport and electric vehicle advocacy group Drive Electric has confirmed that New Zealand’s EV registration count has exceeded 30,000.
The announcement comes after a surge of plug-in vehicle sales in July, following the first month of the government’s new Clean Car Discount scheme. This handed out discounts of up to $8,625 on plug-in hybrid vehicles and fully electric vehicles, new and used.
Drive Electric says that New Zealand only eclipsed 10,000 EV registrations in 2018, adding that it took another 18 months to surpass 20,000 registrations. The last third has come the quickest, taking 15 months. A total of 30,085 electric vehicles are registered today.
“Members are telling us that they have never seen consumer interest in electric vehicles quite like this. Hits on the Drive Electric website, which independently details the EV models available, are also up by tens of thousands,” says Drive Electric chair Mark Gilbert.
“There has been some public debate about the Clean Car Discount policy, but at its core it’s about encouraging the uptake of e-mobility, while maintaining choice. From a climate change perspective, we all benefit when someone chooses to buy an EV instead of a petrol vehicle.”
The news comes in the same week as New Zealand was named one of the world’s cheapest countries to own an electric car. According to a study by UK-based firm Uswitch.com, New Zealand is the eighth cheapest, in a list topped by Lithuania, Norway, and Austria.
As previously reported, the study used a Nissan Leaf E+ as a yardstick, posing how much distance on average you’d be able to travel at a cost of £50 (or around $100). Kiwis are able to travel approximately 5,649km for the money, while Lithuanians can travel an enormous 7,136km.
In July, the Tesla Model 3 was the best selling new plug-in vehicle, with 197 registrations. The American EV was trailed by the MG ZS EV, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.