Never have electric cars been a bigger topic in New Zealand than they are right now, thanks to the Clean Car Discount and the volume of debate it’s stirred up across the country.
There has been plenty of anecdotal evidence showing that a large number of New Zealanders have acted on the discounts on offer and purchased EVs as a result, with some dealerships noting that their entire stock of BEVs were sold in the space of days.
But, a new study from Kiwi firm Finder seems to show that there’s still lingering doubts from a good chunk of Kiwi motorists on whether electric cars are the ultimate answer.
The data group polled a sample of 2076 New Zealanders between June 2 and June 16, asking whether an electric car would be their next four-wheeled purchase. Overall, 45 per cent of respondents were open to the idea, and 55 per cent weren’t.
Somewhat predictably, the age group most likely to purchase an electric car were Generation Z respondents, with 56 saying they would consider an electric car as their next vehicle. Just over half of the millennial respondents, 51 per cent, gave an affirmative answer.
Generation X and ‘baby boomers’ were less interested overall, with 44 per cent and 36 per cent saying they’d be interested in an electric car as their next purchase, respectively. However, it’s important to note that those numbers represent a fairly significant jump on previous similar studies in New Zealand and abroad.
High costs, concerns about the longevity of batteries, and the perceived lack of charging infrastructure were the three biggest elements behind people’s cynicism of EVs, according to Finder.
There are some curious factoids about the study that are worth considering. For one, it kicked off before the government had confirmed its Clean Car Discount plans and subsequent rebates, meaning that some respondents might’ve changed their tune on pricing had they known about the discounts available to them.
It’s also hard to ignore that a 2000 sample isn’t the largest for a study like this. Still, EV advocates can be happy that studies like these are starting to show a turn in consumer attitudes.
“Electric vehicles are becoming more commercially available, and now that government incentives are making them even more accessible it’s likely we will start to see more battery-powered cars on our roads,” said Kevin McHugh, Finder New Zealand publisher.
“The great news is that as electric cars become more widespread, more models will become available, more charging stations will begin to pop up, and costs will continue to fall.
“Most importantly, an electric vehicle could slash your carbon footprint from driving from around 3,000kg to 300kg of carbon emissions per year – a commendable feat.”