EVs past the tipping point for mass adoption worldwide and in New Zealand

EVs past the tipping point for mass adoption worldwide and in New Zealand

EVs past the tipping point for mass adoption worldwide and in New Zealand

Nile Bijoux08:17, Jul 13 2022 Stuff.co.nz New Zealand
What new EVs are likely to be heading our way in the next 18 months? We take a look.

EVs have pushed past the crucial 5% mark in adoption rates in the US, Europe and China, which means they are no longer for niche buyers.

According to an article from Bloomberg, the US has become the latest country to pass the 5% threshold, following 18 other countries, including New Zealand.

That figure is important because most successful new technologies follow an S-shaped adoption curve. It starts slow with early adopters and then blows up after a certain period. The slowdown at the top of the S-curve are those people still holding onto their then-outdated technology.

EV adoption rates are over the 5% barrier in the US, Europe and China and New Zealand, which means they’re no longer niche vehicles.
NILE BIJOUX/STUFF
EV adoption rates are over the 5% barrier in the US, Europe and China and New Zealand, which means they’re no longer niche vehicles.

For EVs, that spike is at around 5% adoption, which means 5% of car owners are driving an EV. It’s when electric vehicles become properly mainstream, when seeing one on the street is as unremarkable as any other car, just like how your mate’s iPhone became old news when everyone bought one.

That’s also the point where cars are affordable enough for the masses to start considering them for their next upgrade, the charging infrastructure is there or thereabouts, and supply isn’t as much of a worry. At the moment that last one is still a bit shakey, but that goes for all vehicles.

Upcoming EVs like Toyota’s bZ4x should result in even more people crossing to electric power.

Upcoming EVs like Toyota’s bZ4x should result in even more people crossing to electric power.

According to Bloomberg, New Zealand passed 5% in Q3 last year, but Mark Gilbert, chair of Drive Electric, told Stuff that 2022 will be the tipping point for EV adoption.

“There are already 70 new models available for sale in New Zealand, and over the next 12 months or so this could possibly double. Depending on the month, market share for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles is around 20 per cent. This was unthinkable even two years ago.” In fact, BEVs and PHEVs combined have just surpassed the 20 million sales mark globally, Bloomberg says.

However, mass adoption will still take time. Kiwis tend to hold on to their vehicles, the average age of the New Zealand car fleet being 14.3 years in 2020, even with the likes of the Clean Car Programme helping encourage EV uptake.

So far in 2022, pure-electric vehicles are sitting at 5.71% of new registrations and plug-in hybrids aren’t far behind with 4.48%. Stock – or lackthereof – is hurting uptake, but again, that’s not an EV-only issue. However, as carmakers aim to electrify more of their offerings, vehicles coming into the country will be increasingly more electric.

Plug-in hybrids, like the Outlander, are selling well as transitional vehicles.
SUPPLIED
Plug-in hybrids, like the Outlander, are selling well as transitional vehicles.

David Crawford, chief executive officer of the MIA, attributed the demand to the Clean Car Discount and high fuel prices.

He only sees things “travelling in one direction, more vehicles with some form of electrification in their drivetrain and less ICE vehicles. We are already at 20% of the sales mix between BEV, PHEV and hybrids.”

A 2021 survey of 2076 people found 45% of New Zealanders would consider buying an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car.

Among those who wouldn’t consider buying an electric car or weren’t sure, 72% were put off by the cost.

Battery life was the second-largest deterrent, followed by lack of charging stations (there are more than 350 stations around the country).

READ MORE:

Charging up the cat: JLR's local boss talks electrification
What is the future of EV ownership?
How ready is New Zealand's EV charging network?
Subscriptions are the best way to try an EV before you buy

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Volta Automotive Ltd which imports and sells Electric Vehicles and Hybrids Car dealers New Zealand and Australia can list and sell on our website www.voltnz.autos

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