June marked an exceptional spike in New Zealand’s light vehicle registration numbers, surpassing 40,000 units (normally around 20,000 per month). Impending changes to the Clean Car Discount lead to a surge in vehicle registrations (to avoid changes to rebates and fees). Plug-in EVs also had one of the strongest months ever.
A further milestone was reached, with MG Motors announcing pricing for the entry-level MG 4 hatchback. With a retail price of $46,990, the clean car rebate will take the net cost to $39,975 – the first battery-electric vehicle to drop under $40,000.
June 2023 EV Market
An unprecedented number of plug-in vehicle registrations occurred in June – a total of 4,490 vehicles.
• This included 2,926 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and 1,564 Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs).
• 22.7% of NZ new passenger cars were EVs.
• 11.2% of all light vehicles were EVs (includes commercial vehicles and used imports).
Total EVs now on the road (fleet – estimated): 81,861.
Top 10 new battery EVs registered in June 2023
Tesla experienced a strong month, with a 37% market share of all new battery-electric vehicles registered in June. The Model Y is the best-selling EV in the Auckland region in 2023 (so far).
Tesla cut prices at the end of June, taking around $4,000 off Model Y and Model 3 prices.
ng tariffs will be streamlined into three different pricing tariffs, based on location profile and charging mode:
Tesla Model Y 765 units
BYD Atto 3 440 units
MG ZS EV 260 units
Tesla Model 3 200 units
Hyundai IONIQ 182 units
Ford Mustang Mach-E 98 units
Kia EV6 93 units
Hyundai IONIQ 5 91 units
Volkswagen ID.5 67 units
GWM Ora 44 units
Tracking the drop: entry-level EVs get cheaper
One of the biggest barriers to EV uptake is the outright cost, and given that we lack a strong used import EV market, for now, most buyers are purchasing brand-new cars.
Over the past few years, there has been a substantial downward price movement of entry-level EVs. This cannot be overstated – prices have dropped by around $16,000 in two and a half years.
An analysis of the average price of the ten cheapest battery EV variants each month shows the trend: entry-level EVs are 24% cheaper than they were in 2021.
In January 2021, the average entry-level price was over $69,000. At the end of June 2023, it is $52,881. Claim the rebate, and the average drops to under $46,000.
New EV models announced
The EX30 is a compact electric SUV coming to NZ in 2024. Taking a cue from sister brand Polestar, the vehicle focuses on sustainability and style. It will be Volvo’s entry-level EV (sitting at a lower price point than the existing C40 and XC40).
The EX30 will only be available as a fully electric vehicle – with a range of up to 480 km. Pricing is yet to be announced.
BYD announced the third EV in their lineup – a medium-sized sedan called the Seal. While final specs and pricing are yet to be revealed, three different models will be available by the end of 2023.
The base model Seal has a range of 460 km, with up to 570 km on the premium specification.
Is the EV market approaching price parity?
After a relatively short period of time, pricing on EVs is beginning to compete with similar combustion or hybrid vehicles – but only in the hatchback segment. From the earliest days of electric cars, analysts have attempted to predict when there would be price parity.
However, comparing a combustion-based car with a fully-electric car is not always easy.
Do you quantify the difference in driving experience? How do you gauge the versatility around refuelling an electric vehicle, from various electricity retail choices and rooftop solar options to smart chargers picking the best time to charge? Can you put a price on reduced air and noise pollution?
The answer to these questions is research. Depending on your usage scenario, an electric vehicle may be the better option, economically and environmentally. In New Zealand, a number of popular hybrid and combustion hatchbacks are priced in the mid $40,000s. These vehicles now share the market with a variety of fully-electric counterparts, and, as past trends indicate, this market will continue to grow.
An uncertain phase awaits the automotive market in the following months. From the 1st of July, alterations to the Clean Car Discount reduced rebates for hybrid cars. Petrol prices also increased (after a discounted fuel excise tax was reinstated). Both of these changes may lead to a heightened interest in fully-electric cars; however, we’ll need to wait and see.
As we look ahead, the potential for EVs in New Zealand is bright. ChargeNet’s ongoing efforts to expand the network of EV charging stations highlight our commitment to supporting the widespread adoption of EVs. By steadily increasing the availability of convenient and accessible charging infrastructure, we are paving the way for a future where electric vehicles are the norm.