They’re cheaper to run

An EV costs the equivalent of 40c per litre1 to “fill up” when charged at home, which is easy and convenient.

They’re likely to work out cheaper to own than their fossil-fuelled equivalent, thanks to that low-cost charging, and lower maintenance fees. You can use our Vehicle Comparison Calculator to see how EVs stack up.


Five reasons to go electric

  1. 1

    Slash greenhouse gas emissions

    EVs emit 80% less CO2 than an equivalent petrol vehicle when being driven in New Zealand because electricity generated here is typically at least 80% renewable (mostly from hydro, geothermal and wind).
  2. 2

    No more petrol station visits

    Charging at home is the most convenient way to keep your vehicle ready to go. For longer trips, there are public chargers at least every 75km on most of the state highway network. You’re almost never too far from your next charge, and the charging network is growing all the time, with a focus on covering major routes and increasing the numbers available.

  3. 3

    Cheap to run

    Charging at home off-peak is like buying petrol at around 40c/litre, depending on your electricity retailer. And battery EV motors have so few moving parts there is less to maintain or go wrong.


  4. 4

    A zippy, quiet ride

    With no gears to work through, an EV is able to apply full power as soon as you touch the accelerator – and there’s no engine noise. They’re great hill climbers and regenerative braking means they recharge going downhill.
  5. 5

    Plug into any power point

    Charge your EV inside or outside, in any weather, so long as all equipment is designed for use in New Zealand and for the conditions in which it will be used.

Hear it from Hayden Paddon

New Zealand’s most successful rally driver, who introduced a world-first EV rally car to the circuit in 2020, has the low-down.

Compare EV running costs

Hayden Paddon looks at how the costs of running an EV stack up against its fossil-fuelled equivalents.

New Zealand can make enough electricity to charge a national fleet of EVs

If all light vehicles in New Zealand were electric (which is a long way off), our current total electricity demand would increase by around 20%, EECA estimates. Enough renewable electricity infrastructure is being built that, added to our existing network, will easily accommodate a larger EV fleet, especially with off-peak charging.

Charging an EV

How many EVs so far?(external link)

Life cycle assessment shows EVs are better for us

As well as running on low-carbon electricity, EVs stack up for the environment when you look at their full lifecycle. An assessment of the environmental impact of EVs, commissioned by EECA in 2015, confirmed EVs were better for the New Zealand environment than petrol/diesel vehicles. This was true for EVs when driven in New Zealand, and across the lifecycle of the vehicle.

Infographic snapshot  [PDF, 90 KB]

Report’s Executive Summary  [PDF, 211 KB]

Safety, servicing and batteries

  • New Zealand's climate suits EVs

    A temperate climate like ours is well suited to EVs.

    Battery life can be reduced by extreme temperatures – below freezing and above 30 degrees Celsius. In these conditions, look for advice in the car manual.

Using transport fuelled by renewable electricity is one of New Zealand’s most effective ways to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

Driving an EV takes a different mindset

Changing from a petrol/diesel to electric car means you may have to think a little differently about owning and running a car.

Which EV is for me?

  • Think long term. EVs can be more expensive to buy than their petrol/diesel equivalents, especially brand new. But the low running costs mean they stack up well over time.
  • Plan time for charging. You can do it cheaply at home overnight, or pay more at a public charging station and do it in 20 minutes.
  • Plan for long distances. You may need to stop and recharge a battery EV.
  • Check before towing. Many manufacturers state their EVs should not be used for towing. Check the vehicle manual or talk to a dealer.
  • Different types have different benefits. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer the security of a petrol/diesel engine – but they generate emissions. Maintenance costs are likely to be about the same as conventional vehicles and many can’t be fast charged.

Get advice from EV owners and enthusiasts

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