With petrol prices nearing unaffordable highs and lengthy delays importing new cars, local demand for electric vehicles is having a surge.
Hyundai New Zealand says they have witnessed a doubling in deposits for the Ioniq 5 EV in just the last week.
Visits to the brand’s EV website has increased by 440 per cent.
“Each day quickly fills up with bookings for test drives,” Hyundai NZ general manager Chris Blair said.
“This is a direct response to the increase in petrol prices and global supply uncertainty.”
Last week, the government announced a temporary cut on fuel duty excise, which has seen prices dip back below $3 per litre.
However, Blair says EV demand is also fuelled by Kiwis looking at long-term options.
Petrol prices will inevitably rise again, and the Clean Car standard comes into effect next month to encourage consumers to go electric with a rebate.
“[Kiwis] want a vehicle which will overcome future changes to petrol price and supply,” he said.
According to Drive Electric chairman Mark Gilbert, the national demand for EVs has had a 55 per cent spike.
Gilbert says motorists are quickly warming to owning EVs because charging costs roughly 40 cents a litre compared to fuel.
Last month, nearly 700 pure electric vehicles were registered in New Zealand. Roughly half of those were Tesla Model 3s.
Still, there are plenty of other options.
Gilbert says there are around 50 EV models available on the Kiwi market and said in an interview with 1News another 20 is on the way this year.
Charging is also receiving a nationwide upgrade.
Transport Minister Michael Woods says 97 per cent of New Zealand’s state highway network has access to an EV charger every 75kms.
Woods suggested ‘hundreds’ of new chargers will be installed this year, including in rural towns and urban CBDs.