Ōtepoti – Energy, Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s latest research shows that New Zealanders’ consideration of electric vehicles (EVs) has been steadily ticking up for the past few years and is now at its highest rate ever.
At the same time, consideration of fossil-fuelled vehicles has dropped to its lowest level ever, EECA says.
EECA and research partner TRA have been monitoring New Zealanders’ attitudes and behaviours in relation to climate change, energy emissions and electric vehicles for over three years.
The latest survey, from the April-June 2022 quarter, found that 48 percent of people reported they’d consider an EV as their next vehicle purchase, up from 40 percent in the same quarter of 2019.
Consideration for petrol vehicles has dropped sharply with just 59 percent of people saying they’d consider one as their next purchase, down from 79 percent over the same time.
If these trends continue, EV consideration will overtake petrol car consideration by the end of 2024.
The research monitors the mood of the nation relating to climate change, energy emissions and efficiency, and topics like electric vehicles. Every quarter, EECA surveys 750 adult New Zealanders to track their beliefs, behaviours and attitudes to energy use and climate change.
During the course of this survey, the government made major announcements about climate change in New Zealand, with the release of the emissions reduction plan and its accompanying climate emergency relief fund in May. The announcements put climate change back on the agenda for many New Zealanders, however economic issues are still top of mind.
The high cost of living, particularly high petrol prices, is encouraging Kiwis to think about their transport choices, consideration of EVs and understanding of the impact petrol/diesel vehicles which have both peaked in the quarter.
It seems New Zealand is approaching an EV tipping point, while at the same time seeing an increasing interest in mode shift.
The survey found attitudes and behaviours around transport are changing, no doubt influenced by fuel prices, but also a growing recognition that transport makes up over 20 percent of the country’s total emissions and reducing fossil-fuelled transport is a high-impact climate action.