EVs are cheaper to run

The cheapest and most convenient way to charge an EV is to simply plug in at home. An EV costs the equivalent of $1.60c litre1 to ‘fill up’ when charged at home off-peak, including road user charges (RUC). Many power companies offer other special EV charging rates that could make it even lower.

EVs can also work out cheaper overall to own than their fossil-fuelled equivalent, thanks to that low-cost charging, and lower maintenance needs. You can use our Vehicle Comparison Calculator to see how different EVs stack up.

 

What you need to know

  • Low emissions

    EVs emit 90% less CO2 than an equivalent petrol vehicle when being driven in New Zealand because of our highly renewable electricity grid.2

  • Cheaper running costs

    It is significantly cheaper to run an electric car compared to an equivalent petrol vehicle, even with road user charges factored in.

  • Easy to charge

    Charging at home is the cheapest and most convenient way to charge your EV. There are public chargers at least every 75km on most state highways, and the network is growing fast.

     

  • High performance

    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.

  • Low maintenance

    Because electric vehicle motors have so few moving parts there is less to maintain or go wrong. EV batteries are built to last a long time and can be refurbished or replaced.

  • Smarter energy use

    Being powered by electricity means you can have a little more control over the costs you pay to run your vehicle. Off-peak electricity rates and smart chargers are tools you can use to get the lowest running costs.

What it costs to power an EV for 100km

  • $11

    EV charged at home off peak

  • $19

    EV charged by a public fast charger

  • $19

    Petrol car

The EV costs above include road user charges and are based on: an off-peak residential electricity rate estimation of 19c/kWh; a public charger rate of 68c/kWh; and average energy consumption of 15.7 kWh/100km, based on top-selling EV vehicle data in 2023. Charging losses at 11% for home chargers and 5% for public chargers are also included in the calculation. Petrol cost is based on the average regular (91) petrol discounted retail price between July 2023-March 2024 of $2.80/L, used at a fuel efficiency of 6.9L/100km, this being based on top-selling petrol cars from 2023. Costs have been rounded to the nearest dollar.

Charging your EV

80% of EV owners do at least half of their charging at home3, but it’s good to know the ins and outs of public charging too, for when you need a bit of extra juice for a longer trip.

At home

Charging at home off-peak is the cheapest and most convenient option. You need off-street parking and access to a dedicated charging unit or a 3-pin power socket. Make sure you're comfortable with the health and safety aspect too.

Charging your EV at home

On the road

The public charging network is growing all the time, with fast chargers on state highways, and slower chargers in places you may be for longer, like malls or supermarkets.

There are tools to help you plan longer journeys, and find chargers along the way.

Charging your EV on the road

Which EV is for me?

Learn about battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) and work out what would suit your needs.

Common questions

It pays to go electric

Powering your home with efficient, electric appliances can save you thousands in energy costs – and slash your carbon footprint.  

We’ve done the math on key household energy uses such as heating, water heating, cooking and driving. The numbers show that the most efficient electric options make sense financially – both in terms of monthly running costs and overall lifetime costs. 

Discover how your household might stand to benefit from going electric. 

Read next

View all Stories

  • Article

    Your best summer roadie EVer

    Did you know driving from Auckland to Taupō in an EV costs about the same as large fries and a burger at the drive-thru?

    • Low emission transport
    • Electric vehicles
    • Low carbon choices

    19 December 2023

  • Article

    Top 5 EV questions answered

    We address lingering questions around electric vehicle cost, batteries, charging and range.

    • Low emission transport
    • Electric vehicles

    5 December 2023

  • Article

    Hayden Paddon’s advice for anyone considering an EV

    Kiwi champion rally driver Hayden Paddon’s enthusiasm for EVs has only grown since he started racing one.

    • Low emission transport
    • Electric vehicles

    13 March 2023