Electric vehicle sales reach ‘turning point’

Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Sales of new electric vehicles have hit a record and for the first time have broken in to the top three passenger models sold last month.

New motor industry figures show a total of 605 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in September.

The numbers were boosted by the first significant numbers of the base model Tesla reaching the country, with 329 sales making it the third-best selling passenger-SUV segment.

Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford says consumer attitudes and behaviour appear to have reached a turning point.

“As the range of models increases, there’s more consumer interest in purchasing the electric vehicles… these are longer range electric vehicles and that seems to be what consumers are interested in.”

He says electric vehicles were expensive by comparison with most petrol or diesel models – the base price of a new Tesla is about $75,000 – but the cars were cheaper to run, becoming able to travel further between charges, and supported by a growing network of charging stations.

“Their environmental credentials are very strong and the increasing awareness of climate change and the need to lessen our carbon footprint, this is something practical that individuals can do and they seem prepared to pay up front to do that,” says David.

David expected sales to keep growing especially if the government goes ahead with its proposed fee-bate scheme.

Overall new car sales were up for the month on a year ago, but year to date sales are down about four per cent with passenger and SUV sales higher but offset by a fall in commercial vehicle sales.


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Good news

Posted on 04-10-2019 10:18 | By Eric Bantona

This is promising. Hopefully sales continue to grow enough that there are economies of scale and they become more affordable for everyone. Just need to make sure infrastructure is there ahead of the anticipated demand too.