What you need to know about Electric Cars
The tide has turned, and many New Zealanders are now considering the purchase of Electric Cars.
With savings on petrol, and the general well-being of knowing you’re doing your part for the planet, EV’s are becoming ‘the new normal’ around the globe.
Charging your EV
EV Charging at home
All EVs are sold with a charging cable that plugs into any standard 3-pin powerpoint that you’ll have at home.
This provides a ‘slow charge’ that will charge your EV overnight while electricity costs are usually at their lowest.
Alternatively, you can purchase a charging unit that gets professionally installed at your home, which gives you the option of ‘fast charging’.
You can find lots of information about Charging your EV here on the GenLess government website.
EV Charging while out
There are now plenty of charging stations in all towns and cities around New Zealand.
The government is also subsidising companies to roll-out many more charging stations, so the ‘range anxiety’ (running out of juice while out) that people have feared in the past is becoming less of an issue.
While there are some free public charging points, generally you’ll pay either at the station while you charge, or via an account you can set up prior.
Electric Car Charging Stations in Tauranga
Here are some common questions about electric vehicles
Click on the + to see the information.
Can New Zealand's current electricity grid cope with lots more EVs?
Can New Zealand’s current electricity grid cope with lots more EVs?
The EECA says YES:
“If all light vehicles in New Zealand were electric, our current total electricity demand would increase by around 20%”, EECA estimates.
“This could be accommodated within New Zealand’s current electricity grid, even allowing for the uncertainties of renewable generation, provided the majority of EVs are charged during off-peak periods.”
Why more electric vehicles won’t make the lights go out
This article on Stuff.co.nz discusses the power outages in August 2021 that many blamed on electric vehicles. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t the electric vehicles after all)
What happens to old batteries?
What happens to old batteries?
The EECA says:
An EV battery should last 10-20 years before it degrades to a point it no longer provides useful range.
At that point, it can be refurbished or replaced. Sometimes it’s possible to just replace the dead cells within a battery. If a full replacement is required, you may be able to improve the range of your EV by installing a new battery with more capacity.
The group looking into recycling New Zealand’s EV batteries
This article on Driven.co.nz discusses the role of B.I.G or Battery Industry Group, who’s looking to offer an EV battery recycling service in New Zealand and is made up of some of our country’s heavy hitters in the electric industry.
“EV batteries still have useful capacity when they reach their end of life in a car, so there’s huge scope to invest in repurposing and give them a second or even third life,” adds Jo Phillips, B.I.G. Battery Innovation Hub chair. “New Zealand has a key role to play in circular innovation for large batteries”.
How much better for the environment are EVs?
The NZ Climate Change Commission says:
“An EV used in Aotearoa emits about 60% fewer emissions over its full life cycle than an equivalent petrol vehicle. This is the case even when accounting for emissions from raw material extraction, manufacture, and shipping. This figure will improve as Aotearoa phases out fossil fuels in electricity generation and as global efforts decrease emissions from EV supply chains.”
- CO2: 80% reduction in CO2 emissions for EVs when used in New Zealand, and 60% reduction in CO2 emissions across lifecycle.
- Cumulative energy demand: EVs use 40% less energy.
- Particulate matter emissions (e.g. exhaust emissions, raw material refining): EVs are better and have no tailpipe emissions.
- Photochemical oxidation (related to the formation of smog): EVs 50% less photochemical matter.
- Resource depletion: no significant difference.
(Information sourced from https://www.eeca.govt.nz/)
Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment?
EVs produce fewer emissions overall than their gas-powered counterparts, but there are caveats.
Read this great article from the Wall Street Journal including a great graphical representation of the complete lifecycle.
Are Electric Vehicle's Safe?
Evidence continues to grow that EV’s are overall at least as safe, if not safer than petrol/diesel equivalents.
Injury claims for electric vehicles were about 40% lower than accidents involving identical gas-powered models, according to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
How likely is the battery to catch fire?
You have probably seen a headline along the lines of “EV bursts into flame in garage” and thought to yourself that you might just stay away from EVs because of it.
It rarely makes the news when a petrol or diesel vehicle catches on fire, which happens far more often.
Charging station safety features
This document from NZTA provides information about typical safety features built into charging stations, safe charging practices and the procedures to follow if assistance is needed.
Total Cost of Ownership
WOF and Registration
You’ll pay the same for WOFs and Registration
At this point Warrant of Fitness and Registration costs are equal for all vehicles, regardless of whether they’re powered by electric, petrol or hybrid engines. (Diesel can have slightly different registration costs)
The comparison below shows 8 year old PHEV’s holding their value against their Petrol/Diesel equivalents.
2013 Outlanders advertised on TradeMe
(Sample from TradeMe Motors – July 2021)
2013 Outlander Petrol and Diesel Vehicles
- VRX 64,000kms $24990
- 4WD 63,000kms $21989
- 4WD 66,000kms $22945
- 4WD 113,000kms $17950
- VRX 133,000kms $21990
- LS 137,000kms $17995
- LS 192,000kms $12000
2013 Outlander PHEVs
- PHEV 29,000kms $26989
- PHEV 41,000kms $27880
- PHEV 62,000kms $25950
- PHEV 90,000kms $22450
- PHEV 90,000kms $23990
- PHEV 109,000kms $20989
- PHEV 110,000kms $22990
Road User Charges (RUC)
There’s currently no RUC for Electric Vehicles
Road User Charges (RUC) are paid by vehicles powered by Diesel that drive on the road, to help pay for new roading and maintenance.
This is because Diesel fuel costs less per litre, so it can be used cheaply in machinery that doesn’t drive on the road (eg: tractors).
Alternatively, Petrol has the road taxes included in the cost per litre.
EV’s don’t have road taxes included in their electricity cost, so Road User Charges will eventually be introduce on a per kilometre basis.
The Government has announced that it will extend the Road User Charges exemption for electric vehicles to 31 March 2024, saving drivers around $800 per year (Quoted from Stuff.co.nz).
EV servicing costs are roughly the same as Petrol/Diesel models
As technology changes, so will the costs of servicing. With fewer moving parts in the powertrain, it makes sense that eventually the cost of EV maintenance and repairs will be cheaper than Petrol or Diesel powered vehicles.
Comparison for 2021 Outlander
(Pricing as at September 2021 – Note: Prices may vary slightly depending on the vehicle’s requirements at the time of servicing.)
Types of Electric Vehicles
There are 4 types of common electric cars:
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
These have both electric and petrol/diesel engines.
The battery is charged while you drive, but can also be charged from an external power supply. Generally considered the most practical option, especially if you do longer trips beyond the range of the battery by itself.
Battery Electric Vehicle
100% battery operated, no petrol/diesel engine.
While these are essentially the most ‘environmentally friendly’, being limited to travelling just the range of the battery can be inconvenient, especially on longer trips requiring multiple charging stops.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Uses both electric and petrol/diesel engines, but don’t have a way to externally charge the battery.
The petrol/diesel engine charges the battery so the vehicle can run short distances using an electric engine. These were some of the original EVs in New Zealand (think Toyota Prius). They’re not as popular now as technology progresses as they weren’t overly efficient.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Powered by Hydrogen to generate electricity.
These vehicles are very environmentally friendly, but still quite rare in passenger vehicles, and require large hydrogen tanks. They are currently being developed more for the trucking/transport sector.
The Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle Range
Mitsubishi offers two Electric Cars of the PHEV type.
Eclipse Cross PHEV
The perfect cross between fuel-free around-town driving and high-performance, open-road adventure.
Pricing from $52,990 +delivery costs
Next Gen Outlander PHEV
A larger SUV that does everything a family vehicle should and many things no other SUV can.
Pricing from $62,990 +delivery costs