Electric cars proving too costly

Photo: Norsk Elbilforening/Wikimedia Commons.

Car buyers' thrifty spending habits are preventing electric vehicles from getting much of a toehold here, a car auction house says.

Despite the technology now being firmly established globally, only 7000 vehicles out of New Zealand's total fleet of 3.85 million cars are electric.

Turners Automotive said 80 per cent of its car buyers spend $20,000 or less when buying a vehicle, and 60 per cent spend less than $10,000.

Chief executive Todd Hunter said based on those spending habits and the current cost of an electric vehicle, the internal combustion engine is going to be around for a long time yet.

"We have still got some way to go around the EV penetration in New Zealand.

"It's a small fragment of the total vehicle population."

The age of the fleet has been relatively stable but there were many cars that were at or very near to the scrapping age, he said.

"Roughly 20 per cent of the fleet are 20 years or older, which is essentially the time most people would scrap the car and buy a new one.

"That's over 700,000 cars that are probably very soon to be replaced."

While the number of electric vehicles (EV) was beginning to grow, even if every single new car coming into the country was an EV, it would still be a 25-year period to change all of the fleet to electric, he said.

Just over 150,000 new cars came into the country last year.


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