EV van and charge station

What we’re doing

This research is focused on exploring the potential uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. Understanding the potential growth of electric vehicles in the New Zealand market is of great interest to a wide range of stakeholders. Aside from the direct impact on the new and used car markets, it could also reduce NZ’s dependence on oil imports, increase demand for electricity, and offer new opportunities for managing electricity demand in distribution networks. It is important for businesses, the energy sector, and national and local governments to be able to plan for electric vehicles uptake.

To explore the uptake of electric vehicles we have conducted 4 separate research streams. We have carried out interviews with 23 people who have already purchased, who have a strong interest to purchase, or have rejected electric vehicles. We have run an online survey and choice modelling experiment with 2000 people (500 of whom we questioned about electric vehicles specifically). We have undertaken a national survey (in conjunction with the Energy Cultures project), which included questions about interest in electric vehicles. And we have used Systems Dynamics (SD) modelling integrating these findings and insights from transport experts to explore influences on the rate of growth of electric vehicles in the light vehicle fleet.

What we’ve found out so far

Overall, things look positive for electric vehicles in New Zealand: there appears to be a strong latent appetite for them, and the biggest barriers to uptake will be resolved as electric vehicles continue to get cheaper and more advanced. However, Kiwis don’t tend to buy new cars, and hold on to their cars for a very long time, so the threat is that we get left behind the rest of the world because we take up electric vehicles too slowly.

We’ve developed a simulation model which looks at the potential uptake of electric vehicles and how that would affect the makeup of the light vehicle fleet in New Zealand. We would love you to use the model to explore the impacts of various possibilities and assumptions.

Explore the simulation model

Click the image below to open the model

For more information see our Report:

Keen on EVs: Kiwi perspectives on electric vehicles, and opportunities to stimulate uptake