The future is electric
Simply speaking, an electric vehicle (EV) has an electric motor that is powered by a battery which is charged by connecting to an external source of electricity. As the EV market continues to grow in leaps and bounds the Miles Group are delivering more and more EVs to our clients who are making a better environmental choice while savings on day-to-day running, and general maintenance costs.
There are two main electric vehicles available in the New Zealand market, a battery electric vehicle (BEV) plug-in hybrid electric Vehicle (PHEV). We discuss these models in finer detail below. Whilst there is ongoing debate whether our popular Hybrid vehicles can join our PHEV and BEV friends in the EV category, we like to think they have a special category of their own. Read more about petrol hybrid vehicles here.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
A battery electric vehicle is powered 100% by the battery alone with no internal combustion engine (ICE). The vehicle is charged by connecting the vehicle’s power supply input to an external source of electricity; a wall outlet in your home or at work, or a dedicated EV charger.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) use batteries to power an electric motor and another fuel, such as petrol, to power an internal combustion engine (ICE). PHEV batteries can be charged using a wall outlet in your home or at work, or an EV charger, by the ICE, or through regenerative braking.
Without getting too scientific, us tidy Kiwis generate 82% of the country’s electricity through renewable energy, such as geothermal, hydropower, and wind so it’s not surprising to learn many of our clients are making the switch to EV for environmental reasons, but day to day running and maintenance costs are also not to be ignored.
Range anxiety is a thing, but rest assured, with Aotearoa’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and road transport contributing half of our carbon emissions The New Zealand Transport Agency are backing the establishment of public charging facilities in metropolitan areas and on popular state highways across the country. Find your closest public charging station.
At Home Charging
Charging your electric vehicle at home is the simplest and cheapest way to charge. If you’re considering an EV, it is essential to have off-street parking with access to a wall socket. If you have both of these, you’ll also want to consider having an electrician install a 240-volt wall-mounted charger so you can charge the battery up with ease each night. Anything less than that will take days to charge.
Most EV owners charge their EV overnight, and some chargers allow the user to set timers and charge percentage cut off points. This allows you to keep your battery in tip-top shape and ensure your car is ready for the morning commute.
EV Charging Stations
According to NZTA’s EVRoam, there are public charging stations in New Zealand at least every 75km on most of the state highway network. Most EVs are able to far surpass that range, so this means charging on the go is easy! Beating range anxiety while out and about takes a bit of planning, but preparing for a journey by using EVRoam’s trip planner keeps things easy, especially when on a road trip.
If you are planning a road trip where charging will be necessary, keep in mind this will add to the length of your trip and you’ll want to plan an activity to pass the time while your car is charging. Many charging stations are conveniently located in supermarket carparks or in the middle of shopping centres, so running errands or stopping in for a snack is a good option.
There are plenty more apps to pinpoint the locations of public chargers, and provide useful data like if the chargers are slow, what type of connectors or sockets are provided, and even say if the charger is currently in use. There is also the option to fast-charge at a number of stations, allowing you to top up approximately 100km in 20-30 minutes.
Clean Car Discount
The Clean Car Discount will assist New Zealand achieve its goal to be carbon neutral by making electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles more affordable. The incentive to purchase EV is up to $8,625, while purchasing a PHEV could see a rebate of up to $5,750. With a wide range of vehicles applicable for the Clean Car Discount program, the Miles Group will be sure to assist in finding the right EV for you.
The rebate is payable to light electric vehicles:
- A new imported light battery electric vehicle (EV); or
- A used imported light battery electric vehicle (EV); or
- A new imported light plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV); or
- A used imported light plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
Eligibility criteria for the Clean Car Discount rebate from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. The vehicle must earn 3 stars or more on the NZTA’s RightCar website and be registered for the first time in NZ between the rebate period. The vehicle will need to be less than $80,000 including GST and On Road Costs.
Petrol hybrids are not eligible for the Clean Car Discount rebate.
Applying for the Rebate
Before purchasing your EV, speak to our team to ensure the rebate applies.
After the purchase is made, you will need to apply for the rebate online with the NZ Transport Agency. you will be asked for the following information:
- Acknowledgement of sale agreement
- Registration number
- Your bank account number for deposit of funds.
Please keep in mind the Miles Group do not apply for the rebate on the customer’s behalf. The vehicle is purchased with no such discount at the time of purchase. The application is between the purchaser and Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency). Find out more here.
There are other types of alternative-fuel vehicles available or currently being explored by various companies. Bio-fuel is a fuel that contains a small (5-10% depending on petrol or diesel) portion of fuel created from fermenting sugars and starches. In New Zealand, many of this is being created from the by-products on the dairy industry, so it’s an environmental win on many levels. Bio-fuel is more readily available and provides a cleaner burn, though doesn’t eliminate driving with fossil fuels altogether, so not the best alternative.
Hydrogen fuel-celled vehicles are also on the rise, with various vehicle brands creating prototypes for the zero-emissions option. Infrastructure for these vehicles is being implemented around New Zealand now, rolling out over the next few years.
Finally, solar powered vehicles have been made into prototype stage, but more development on solar technology needs to take place before these vehicles can be taken to the next stage.