8 August 2018 – The overwhelming majority of New Zealanders see electric vehicles (EVs) as the way forward and almost half are considering getting one soon, according to new research* released by Mercury today.

In its most recent survey of EV uptake in New Zealand, Mercury found 84% of respondents agree EVs are ‘the way of the future’. Almost half of adult New Zealanders (46%) are considering getting an EV in the next two years. Watch video here

“Kiwis have embraced electric vehicles as key to our transport future at a time when climate change is top of mind for more people than ever before,” says Mercury’s Chief Marketing Officer, Julia Jack.

“New Zealand’s renewable energy credentials are among the best in the world and we can step change this in our generation by choosing a cleaner, cheaper way of getting around.”

Mercury has long promoted the great benefits of EVs, delivering on average 2,000kgs of annual reductions in carbon emissions and running at an equivalent of 30c a litre compared with petrol.

“Kiwis are ready to go electric. This should be a major signal to car manufacturers to send more plug-in models our way.”

Julia says that the key to meeting the Government’s target of 64,000 EVs on our roads by the end of 2021 is greater choice in EV models and a strong second-hand market, where most people buy their cars.

Government and business are widely considered fundamental to the second-hand EV market with the Motor Industry Association estimating about 65% of all new vehicle purchases are made by this group.

“The hard part is done – there is a genuine desire and impetus to start plugging in our cars. Now it’s down to the public and private sectors to take the lead with their own fleets, and help people get these cars in their driveways.”

Graphic listing key perceptions of EVs, showing stats taken from a survey.

Julia said the business community had already made great progress in this space, including a collective of over 30 New Zealand corporates committed to transitioning at least 30% of their fleets to plug-in by 2019. Mercury is part of this group, with 70% of its fleet now electric.

“We think this makes us one of the largest plug-in fleets in New Zealand but we’re happy to be proved wrong on that one.”

With more than 8,500 EVs registered in New Zealand, only 1% of New Zealanders have never heard of EVs and 42% have seen someone driving one – up significantly from 28% just three months earlier, in March 2018.

“Electric vehicles are no longer a novelty.  They’ve become a key part of today’s lifestyle – not only are they on our roads, but they constantly feature in mainstream and niche media and have become part of pop culture.

“Getting an EV doesn’t mean giving something up to do the right thing for the environment, it now means getting something better, saving money on fuel and doing the right thing for the environment.

“Story telling is key to building that connection with people. Our very own Evie, a converted plug-in 1957 Ford Fairlane, is a great case in point – capturing people’s imaginations about the wonderful opportunity in electric transport – keeping the best and getting rid of the rest.”