Electric Vehicles in New Zealand

Information on the two main types of EV – battery electric and plug-in hybrid – and the vehicles available in New Zealand.

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) - these are a purely electric vehicle, fuelled only by the battery which is charged by plugging into an electric power point, for example the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Tesla S are types of electric car. The Renault Kangoo and Nissan eNV200 vans are also available in New Zealand.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – these have two engines – one fuelled by a battery which is charged by plugging into an electric power point, the other engine runs on a fuel tank and generally uses petrol or diesel. Examples include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, BMW i3 (range extender model) and Audi e-tron.

Conventional forms of petrol hybrids aren’t considered electric vehicles as they aren’t charging by ‘plugging in’. Their batteries are only charged by re-capturing energy when braking or from electricity generated by the engine. The Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid are examples of these kinds of hybrid electric cars.

Mass produced electric cars have been on sale to the New Zealand public since 2011, both new and as second-hand imports.

You can find a list of models available in New Zealand on the Drive Electric website.

Models available in New Zealand - Drive Electric website

A list of EV dealers in New Zealand is available on the Leading the Charge website.

EV dealers in New Zealand - Leading the Charge website

Electric vehicles (EVs) are often more expensive to purchase, especially if buying new, but cost far less to operate than petrol and diesel vehicles - the equivalent of paying 30c per litre for petrol. This means that if you look at the total cost of owning a vehicle, rather than just the one-off purchase price, an EV is a great option for your next car.

You can find out more about the cost of an electric car for your fleet by using our vehicle total cost of ownership tool – it provides a list of new vehicles available in New Zealand along with their operating costs and you can change the data to reflect your own vehicle use.

Many organisations have made the switch to electric for their fleet, find out how they did it on our business case page.

Related links

 Hybrid vehicles

 Vehicle total cost of ownership tool

 Benefits and considerations of electric vehicles

 Safety and regulations for electric vehicles

 Charging your electric vehicle