electric vehicles

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6,000 EVs registered in NZ

More than 6,000 electric vehicles (EVs) are now registered in New Zealand, an early Christmas for the EV community. 

More than 6,000 electric vehicles are charging along New Zealand roads.

This time last year there were 2,547 EVs registered and numbers have increased 136% in the year.

This year’s 3,485 total registrations were made up of 2,154 used electric cars, 62 per cent of 2017 registrations followed by 649 new electric cars, 19 per cent of registrations. 

Not surprisingly Auckland continues to lead the charge to EV ownership regionally. Auckland accounts for 50% of the light EV fleet, a total of 2864 vehicles, considerably above its share of the nation’s population (34%)

On a per capita basis, Auckland is clearly ahead of the Canterbury region fleet (696) and Wellington (679). The units of EVs registered in Auckland has increased 117 per cent since December 2016 when the fleet size was only 1,319.

Infrastructure and charging stations are ever-expanding across the New Zealand to support the growing number of EVs on our roads. The amount of  fast chargers available throughout the length of the country are also increasing, giving EV drivers greater confidence on longer journeys.

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EV sales hit record high

Electric vehicle, EV, sales jumped to a record high in the third quarter of 2017 due to China’s increased demand.

Electric vehicle sales hit record high in Q3

Sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids exceeded 287,000 units in the three months ended in September, a huge 63 per cent higher than the same quarter last year, according to a report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, BNEF.

China is the top market for EVs, making up roughly half of global sales in this quarter. Europe and North America were the second and third biggest markets, respectively.

It’s no surprise that China’s number one due to their current incentives to help increase the number of low-emission cars on the road.

BNEF forecasts that international electric vehicle sales to exceed one million units in 2017.

The market for electrified transport is starting to increase as charging infrastructure becomes more accessible.

“The Chinese government is very focused on pushing up EV sales,” advanced transport analyst at BNEF, Aleksandra O’Donovan said.

“One reason for that is the local pollution levels in the cities, and a second is for China to build domestic heroes to compete internationally in this market,” O’Donovan added.

“The national subsidies can make EVs up to 40 percent cheaper than regular internal combustion cars,” O’Donovan noted.

Automakers including Volkswagen Group, Daimler, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo have recently announced plans to expand their line-ups to include EV models to meet growing demand.

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Europcar NZ adds EVs to fleet

Europcar NZ now offers 100 per cent electric vehicles for rent in both Auckland and Christchurch.

Europcar will introduce ten Volkswagen e-Golfs into its rental vehicle fleet. With the growth of sustainable tourism and rising awareness of corporate responsibility, rental EVs provide travellers the opportunity to experience and test drive EVs while promoting environmentally friendly motoring solutions. 

© Europcar Group

The addition of EVs into their rental fleet is due to Europcar being granted nearly $200,000 in funding under round two of EECA’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund. 

The Government has established the contestable fund to encourage innovation and investment to accelerate the uptake of electric and other low emission vehicles in New Zealand, which might not otherwise occur.

The fund provides up to $6 million per year to co-fund, up to 50%, projects with private and public sector partners in areas where commercial returns aren’t yet strong enough to justify full private investment.

General Manager Europcar New Zealand, Stephen Jones says the new electric fleet reinforces Europcar’s long-term strategy by embracing the fast-changing nature of motoring and its inevitable lean towards green technology.

This co-funding will go towards the vehicle lease costs, charging infrastructure and marketing with the aim of increasing EV demand within the rental vehicle sector, which is the largest corporate purchaser of passenger vehicles in NZ.

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EV registrations continue to grow

The week starting 30 October 2017 saw 182 electric vehicles (EVs) registered, the highest number in a single week. 

There were 430 EV registrations in October, the highest registered in a single month. 

The total number of EV registrations in New Zealand is 5,401. 

That puts the country ahead of its target of having 4000 EVs on our roads by the end of 2017. That goal was a step towards the national target of 64,000 EVs by the end of 2021, around two per cent of the number of cars in the country.

Driving an electric vehicle in New Zealand allows for 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions than a petrol or diesel car due to New Zealand’s abundant renewable electricity.

There are also about 50 fast chargers available throughout the length of the country, with more coming, giving EV driver’s greater confidence on longer journeys.


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Driver training programme to use electric hybrids

Toyota New Zealand is providing the Manfeild National Driver Training Centre with three Toyota Prius plug-in electric hybrids (PHVs) to use in their training programme.

Ali and Nelly Skelton with the National Driving Training Centre’s Toyota Prius PHV at Manfeild.

The training programme centres around increasing the number of secondary school pupils gaining their restricted licence. In turn allowing students to gain NCEA credits and a defensive driving qualification making them more employable when entering the workforce.

“This programme, aimed at getting well trained, suitably qualified young drivers onto our roads, is a fantastic initiative, especially considering the lower numbers of secondary school students with an appropriate licence,” said Andrew Davis, the General Manager of Marketing for Toyota New Zealand.

“We have loaned these vehicles to the National Driver Training Centre to support them in this great community initiative.”

Toyota New Zealand also understands that electrically charged vehicles will underpin the future of transport, so students should be comfortable with their operation.

“The Prius PHVs are the kind of technology that will become increasingly common in the future, so getting drivers used to its operation makes sense.”

The new government has pledged to make driver education more accessible to school leavers.

Recent surveys have found only 44 per cent of all 18 to 24-year-olds have a restricted licence.

In recent years, many industries which use lots of drivers have struggled to find suitably qualified staff.

The road transport industry has combined with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to encourage more people into driving as a career through a Sector Workforce Employment Programme.

The National Driver Training Centre aims to provide suitably qualified drivers who have completed the first steps towards a job where a driving licence is required.

On Tuesday 21 November the National Driver Training Centre is holding an Open Day for school principals, career advisors and gateway co-ordinators to explain the courses and opportunities the National Driver Training Centre provides.

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Tesla to expand its insurance programme to New Zealand

Tesla has created a customised insurance program, InsureMyTesla, that claims to be cheaper than traditional plans because its specifically tailored to their advanced safety features, such as the Autopilot system.

InsureMyTesla is already available in twenty countries and is underwritten by insurers partnering with Tesla. In New Zealand, Tesla is partnering with Vero Insurance.

The insurance package demonstrates how the insurance industry is bound for disruption as cars get safer with self-driving capabilities.

Until then, Tesla’s safety features should theoretically reduce insurance rates. However some Tesla owners have reported that they have been paying higher than average premiums to drive their electric cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that insurance agencies should adjust their prices for Tesla vehicles because the cars come with Autopilot, the company’s advanced assisted feature.

“Not to the exclusion of insurance providers but if we find that insurance providers are not matching the insurance proportionate to the risk of the car, then if we need to, we will in-source it,” Musk said in February.

The deal with Vero Insurance shows how New Zealand insurance agencies are starting to understand that they must adjust their prices as cars get safer.

In the near future Tesla hopes to package the price of insurance and maintenance into the price of future vehicles.

“It takes into account not only the Autopilot safety features but also the maintenance cost of the car,” Jon McNeill, Tesla’s vice president of sales and services, has said of InsureMyTesla. “It’s our vision in the future we could offer a single price for the car, maintenance, and insurance.”

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Nissan’s sales plummet amid scandal

Nissan Motor Co announced earlier this week that Japanese sales of new vehicles has dropped by approximately 50% in October compared to last years figures. 

Last month the discovery of improper final inspection procedures at Nissan Motor Co.’s domestic plants caused it to partly suspend production. 

Nissan didn’t provide exact figures for this month’s sales, but the car company sold 38,708 vehicles in Japan in October 2016.

The plants will resume production once the final inspection procedures have been brought in line with transport ministry requirements, a spokesman for the automaker said.

Nissan has completed those measures at one assembly plant and expects to have made similar changes at five other plants by the end of the week, he said.

This month was supposed to mark the unveiling of an electric-vehicle offensive for Nissan, who is eager to establish itself as the leader in the race to electrify its vehicle line-up.

Nissan is anticipated to outline a global EV sales push when it reports its earnings next week.

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Nissan Leaf off to a great start

Nissan Europe says the second-generation Leaf is selling much better than expected. 


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Phil Goff involved in C40 Climate Summit

Auckland mayor, Phil Goff, together with the mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, and several other cities committed themselves to a series of ambitious targets to make their cities cleaner, greener and more sustainable. (more…)

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China to reach one million units

Production of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in China could reach one million units by next year and three million by 2020.

Chairman of carmaker BAIC group, Xu Heyi said the production is likely to exceed a target set by the Chinese government.

“Rather than the time when gasoline-fuelled cars are withdrawn, it is more important to consider the extent to which new energy vehicles are popularized, or their market share,” Xu told reporters at the Communist Party Congress.

Wang Chuanfu, chairman of leading EV producer BYD, said in September that all of China’s vehicles could be “electrified” by as early as 2030.

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China set to end sales of combustion engine

China will join France and the UK in setting a timeline to phase out the sale of internal combustion engine cars.

Bloomberg reports that Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales.

Cars driving on an overpass in Beijing amid heavy smog.

The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Ford have both announced in the past month joint ventures that will see them collaborate with Chinese EV producers to manufacture electric vehicles, for the Chinese market.

Honda Motor Co. will launch an electric car for the China market in 2018, the companies China chief operating Officer said at the same forum in Tianjin. The Japanese carmaker is developing the vehicle with Chinese joint ventures of Guangqi Honda Automobile Co. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. and will create a new brand with them, he said.

Volkwagen AG is also working with the state-owned Anjui Jianghuai Automobile Group to bring an electric SUV to the Chinese market next year.

China, seeking to meet its promise to cap its carbon emissions by 2030, is the latest country to unveil plans to phase out vehicles running on fossil fuels.

The U.K. said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan.

In 2016 the New Zealand government announced it would seek to increase the number of EVs in the country to 64,000 by the end of 2021.

In a policy document released last week, the Labour Party stated that if elected, they would require state-owned enterprises and other government organisations to actively pursue low-carbon technologies.

“All future purchases of all Government vehicle fleets to be electric vehicles unless there is an exceptional reason otherwise” the document said.

As of August there are 4,541 EVs on New Zealand roads, including Hybrid plug in cars.



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