Some NZ regions switched off to Electric Vehicles
If you live in Auckland, Wellington or Canterbury, your interest in electric vehicles is rapidly climbing. But if you live in Gisborne, West Coast or Whanganui - forget it.
This is what has emerged from some number-crunching by online auction and classified advertising site Trade Me Motors, to try to find out how popular electric vehicles are becoming.
The exercise has found that the number of views on EVs has increased by 330 per cent over the past 12 months - proof that electric vehicles are becoming an attractive alternative for car buyers, says the head of Trade Me Motors Alan Clark.
"People in the market for a new or used car are attracted to their smooth and silent performance, low maintenance costs and environmental benefits," he adds.
But interest in EVs is far more pronounced in some regions than others, the exercise shows.
The three main metropolitan areas - Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury - are prime examples of where electric vehicles are thriving, because they are a convenient alternative thanks to dense populations and access to numerous charging stations. Between June and August this year these regions made up 39.6, 12.5 and 14.2 per cent of the EV watchlist activity on Trade Me.
Meanwhile, regional New Zealand is yet to succumb to the charms of the electric vehicle, with Gisborne West Coast and Whanganui the worst performers, making up just 0.21, 0.32 and 0.52 per cent of the watchlist activity.
"We simply don't have enough public charging ports for electric vehicles outside the main metros," says Clark.
"But once the infrastructure improves and public charging points are almost as common as petrol stations, we will see far more electric vehicles in non-urban areas," he adds.
In the last year the number of electric vehicles for sale has increased dramatically, says Clark.
"The number of electric vehicle listings has climbed 127 per cent since August last year, with the Nissan Leaf proving to be the most popular model amongst Kiwis."
The exercise has found that the financial outlay for an electric vehicle is increasingly competitive, too. The average price of an EV on Trade Me Motors is $23,300 which is less than 15 per cent dearer than a non-electric hatchback of a similar age. This gap has shrunk quickly over the past few years.
But Clark says he doesn't see EVs eclipsing petrol or diesel vehicles any time soon.
"We're a clean green country and electric vehicles give anyone worried about their carbon footprint an eco-friendly alternative - but they're a long way from taking over the garages and carports of the nation."
WHERE TRADE ME'S EV WATCH-LISTERS LIVE:
Auckland 39.64 per cent.
Bay of Plenty 5.61
Hawke's Bay 2.56
Nelson Bays 2.76
West Coast 0.32