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Shocking Revelation for New Zealand's Electric Future: You Won't Believe What's on the Horizon!

New Zealand, with its picturesque landscapes and pristine environment, is at a crossroads when it comes to its transportation future. Drive Electric, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing electric mobility, has recently unveiled its comprehensive 'State of Our Nation' report, offering a deep dive into the country's electric vehicle landscape as of June 2023. While the report paints an encouraging picture, it also underscores the significant challenges that lie ahead for New Zealand's journey towards electrification.

A Glimpse into the Current State

According to the Drive Electric report, New Zealand has made commendable strides in adopting electric vehicles (EVs). The introduction of the Clean Car Discount scheme, which has issued over 100,000 rebates and contributed to a notable 21% reduction in the average emissions from new vehicles, is one of the primary catalysts for this change. However, challenges persist.

One of the lingering hurdles is the initial cost of EVs, which remains relatively high. Despite this, the report suggests that when looking at the total cost of ownership over five years, price parity between internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and EVs is already within reach. The key to future cost parity largely hinges on the declining costs of batteries, which are expected to continue falling.

The Road Ahead: Addressing Cost and Market Gaps

To make electric vehicles more accessible to a wider audience, the report emphasizes the importance of the used car market. As EV owners upgrade their vehicles, the growth of the second-hand EV market will provide an avenue for those who cannot afford brand-new electric cars. However, there is currently a scarcity of options priced below $30,000 that offer adequate range, a gap that needs addressing.

Another challenge is the New Zealand fascination with utes, where there's currently a dearth of electric workhorses. The LDV eT60, with its 350km range, is the sole option available in the country, and it's limited to rear-wheel drive. The report acknowledges that the solution here lies in waiting for major manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Nissan to develop electric utes, with Ford's plug-in hybrid Ranger slated for 2025 and Toyota exploring electrification for the next Hilux generation.

However, New Zealand's market size means that it cannot single-handedly influence manufacturers' vehicle roadmaps. Nevertheless, Drive Electric remains optimistic that New Zealand is on track to achieve its target of a 30% zero-emission light fleet by 2035, provided that the Clean Car Discount continues.

Charging Infrastructure and Renewable Energy

When it comes to charging infrastructure, New Zealand has made a promising start. With over 87% of the country's energy coming from renewable sources, the environmental impact of EV charging is relatively low compared to countries with more limited access to renewable energy. According to the report, 82% of charging in New Zealand takes place at home, with 97% of current EV owners utilizing home charging at least some of the time.

Nevertheless, around 15% of households in New Zealand lack dedicated parking spaces, underscoring the importance of expanding public charging networks. The report highlights the growth in public charging station use among EV drivers, rising from 49% in 2021 to 76% in 2023. Multiple players, including Jolt, Z Energy, BP, Tesla, ChargeNet, and Meridian, have entered the market, contributing to an increasingly robust public charging infrastructure.

However, New Zealand still faces challenges in matching the pace of EV adoption with the rollout of new, reliable charging stations. As of 2022, the country had one charge point for nearly eight light-duty electric vehicles, whereas Australia boasted one point for roughly every 2.5 cars. The report acknowledges that 42% of EV drivers feel there is still a shortage of public chargers, with queues deterring 55% of drivers from utilizing public charging.

Grid Capacity and Environmental Impact

Addressing concerns about the strain on the national power grid if a significant portion of the population switched to electric vehicles overnight, the report provides reassuring insights. New Zealand's existing grid has the capacity to accommodate a 20% increase in electricity demand, and this demand can largely be met during off-peak hours, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels for grid supplementation.

Furthermore, as New Zealand's renewable energy generation capacity continues to expand, the grid's ability to support increased EV adoption will strengthen. Vehicle-to-grid technology advancements will also allow EVs to feed surplus energy back into the grid, further enhancing grid stability and reducing carbon footprints.

The Path to Sustainability

New Zealand's transportation sector is responsible for a significant portion of local emissions, with transport contributing to two-thirds of air pollution. The report underscores the urgency of transitioning to electric vehicles, as widespread EV adoption could lead to a 50% reduction in the health impacts of air pollution. This transition is critical in tackling New Zealand's emissions, which consist of 45% CO2, 43% methane, 10% nitrous oxide, and 2% fluorinated gases.

While EVs currently account for only 2% of the country's entire vehicle fleet, the Drive Electric report highlights that New Zealand has made substantial progress, with global EV sales increasing by 730% since 2017 and the local EV fleet expanding ninefold in the past five years. As New Zealand continues to develop its infrastructure, policies, and market for electric vehicles, it is poised to navigate the road ahead toward sustainability and reduced emissions, one electrified mile at a time.

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  • Home installation by a registered electrician – 7m standard install across Auckland

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  • FREE meter configuration to EV meter at home (valued up to $299, if needed)

  • EV Plan offers half price night rate for all electricity used after 9pm

  • Discounted charging rates at Chargenet Chargers – pay your home rates at these chargers

Want to learn more? Click the button below to learn more about our chargers, or book a free consultation with our EV consultants.

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