Will NZ Embrace The Electric Car? Our Verdict

Electric cars have surfaced the car industry for quite some time now, but will they be here to stay? We have decided to delve into the topic of electric cars and determine how they will work within New Zealand. 

How do electric vehicles work?

Unlike a regular car which obtains its power source from resources such as petrol, diesel or gas, electric cars can be powered in two different ways – through electric batteries or with a combination of electric batteries and a conventional engine (also known as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). With more than 80 percent of New Zealand’s electricity being generated from renewable sources, there is enough power supply for the country to adopt this new way of transportation.  

Benefits of electric cars

Cheaper to run

Electric vehicles are far cheaper to run compared to the more conventional methods of transport (petrol/diesel cars) with the cost of charging (electricity cost) equivalent to paying 30 cents per litre! Not only that, but the maintenance and servicing costs of these vehicles are lower as well, as these types of engines have less technical parts. The hybrid options have a petrol / diesel engine, so whilst this option do not obtain these benefits, when being run on the EV mode the running costs are much cheaper. 

Environmentally Friendly 

Emitting 80% less carbon dioxide compared to conventional cars, electric cars are deemed as a great environmentally friendly transport option. Across the lifespan of the car, they emit 60% fewer climate change emissions, even when you take into account the manufacturing and shipping component of the car, from the warehouse to the car dealership. 

Downsides of electric cars 

Charging time / Current lack of charging stations 

Whilst you can fill up a petrol / diesel car within 5-10 minutes at a petrol station, electric vehicles do not have the same luxury. The average charging time can take anywhere between 20 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the make / model of the car, electricity source and the charger used. Depending on the type of electric vehicle, the range between charges can be between 120 km to 350 km. Although this may not be an issue for most New Zealand residents, as the average person travels a maximum of 22 kilometres per day, with 90% of travel by car in one stint in NZ being under 90km total, it can be difficult for those who travel a lot. Another situation in which this factor can become an issue is if you are planning on completing a road-trip. Not only can it be difficult to find a charging station that is within your route (comparing it to the number of petrol stations that may be on your route), but if your vehicle takes up to hours to charge, that is a long time to be waiting around. 


Although the cost to run an electric vehicle outweighs the cost of a petrol/diesel car, the cost of the vehicle itself can be quite expensive. Due to the innovative nature behind the vehicle and the fact that it is yet to be adopted in a mainstream arena, the prices of these types of cars are much steeper. However, in saying all of that, it is not to say that it won’t drop one day, as it definitely will. As more and more people adopt the change, the prices will become more affordable for the average New Zealand household. 

New Zealand’s Adoption on Electric Vehicles

In May 2016, the New Zealand government released  their new Electric Vehicles Programme which aims to increase the amount of electric vehicles within New Zealand, with the goal of reaching 64,000 vehicles by the end of 2021.

The programme has been designed to offer a range of initiatives to encourage people to make the switch and change over from petrol / diesel cars to electric vehicles. These initiatives include:

  • Extending the Road User Charges (RUC) exemption on light vehicles until they make up two percent of the light vehicles fleet – save the average electric vehicle driver approximately $600 per vehicle each year.
  • RUC exemption for heavy electric vehicles until they make up 2 percent of the heavy vehicle fleet – significant savings for heavy electric vehicle drivers
  • Addition of 15 new electric vehicles to enter the NZ market, providing NZ residents with more of a diverse range to select from. 
  • Electric vehicles are allowed to travel on special vehicle lanes (such as bus lanes) 

The adoption of electric vehicles within the New Zealand market is happening and being registered Master Auckland Electricians, the change is great. Although we do not specialise in electric vehicles, we do however specialise in residentialcommercial and industrial electrical services. Avoid the risks and contact a Domestic Electrician Auckland for all of your electrical needs. At Northern Lights, we can help you with electrical maintenance and LED light installation. Good electricians are hard to come by, that’s why Northern Lights provides services not just in Auckland but also across the North Shore. Whether you’re looking for an electrician Albanyelectrician Milford, or electrician Glenfield, let the experts help with your electrical needs. We provide electrical services 24 hours, 7 days a week. Contact us today and one of our friendly team members will help you out!

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  • Avatar Douglas Rawson ★★★★★ 3 months ago
    Simply Awesome service from Northern Lights. We had quite extensive work done on our home, including rewire, new board, new main line point of entry, new earth, all light fittings, switches and power points … More replaced, new indoor and outdoor lighting installed. When quoting, John was fantastic and listened to what we wanted. He didn't try pressure us or upsell to us. He took the time to explain things and give us options that fitted our budget. The electricians who carried out the work were also fantastic. Over the 5 days, Hannes, Matt and Zio were on time, polite, professional, and tidy. Their work was top notch and their attention to detail was awesome. We also changed our mind a bit along the way and they accommodated this for us no problem. Going forward we will be using Northern Lights for any and all electrical work in the future. We really couldn't be happier! Thanks Guys!!
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    Team arrived promptly, were thorough and professional and left everything neat and tidy afterwards. New lights look awesome.
  • Avatar Karl Crawford ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    Great, prompt and friendly service. Would recommend and use again

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