What to consider before buying an EV or Plug-in Hybrid car
Thinking of switching to a ‘Clean Car’? Here are some of the things you need to know about owning an EV or Plug-in Hybrid car.
Last updated: 03/11/21
With the New Zealand Government's new Clean Car scheme announcement, certain battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will become cheaper to buy.
While the move is a great step in reducing New Zealand’s total carbon emissions, of which transport emissions make up 21%1, switching to an environmentally friendly car is a big decision to make.
To make it a little easier, we’ve written this guide to give you some of the top things to consider when weighing up whether to make the switch to an electric vehicle (EV).
What is the scheme and how could it benefit me?
The Clean Car scheme gives Kiwis a helping hand in going greener by offering a rebate of up to $8,625 on new (or up to $3,450 for used) imported light BEVs, or up to $5,750 for new (or up to $2,300 for used) PHEVs if they meet the following criteria2:
- It must be a new or used imported BEV or PHEV that costs under NZ$80,000 (including GST and on-road costs). Please note, the rebate does not apply to hybrid cars that do not plug-in (HEV).
- It must have at least a 3-star safety rating according to www.rightcar.govt.nz.
- It must be registered for the first time in New Zealand between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022 and you must be the first registered owner.
This includes a great range of BEV or PHEVs (prices as of 26th July 2021). Some popular models we insure are:
- Nissan Leaf from $61,990 +ORC, Range +200KM3
- Volkswagen e-Golf from $69,490 +ORC, Range +200KM4
- Hyundai Kona II from $69,990 +ORC, Range +400KM5
- Kia Niro EV from $77,990 +ORC, Range +450KM6
- MG ZS EV from $48,990 +ORC, Range +250KM7
- Mini Hatch Electric from $60,400 +ORC, Range +200KM8
The prices above are for new vehicles and based on third party information. You are advised to conduct your own independent research before making any purchase decision.
To find out more about the scheme and its rebate eligibility criteria, visit the government website here.
What’s the difference between BEVs and PHEVs?
There are lots of things to weigh up when considering whether to choose a BEV or a PHEV, including costs and environmental impact.
BEVs are better for the environment9, so if you want to do your bit to help the planet and upfront costs are less of an issue, BEVs are the way to go.
BEVs and PHEVs are both great for city driving. If you regularly do long trips you need to consider which type of vehicle best suits your needs. For example, you may feel more at ease with a PHEV knowing that you can fuel up along the road.
You can take a look at our comparison guide here.
How do I charge my EV?
There are two types of charging methods, AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current).10 Most EVs will comfortably charge overnight using AC, which just means you’re using a plug socket in your home or a wall box that some manufacturers provide or sell additionally.
Wall boxes improve charging times over standard wall sockets. You can also get a qualified electrician to install a 15amp wall socket to help speed up charging over regular wall chargers.11
The fastest charging method is using DC. Most public charging stations use this, depending on the KW (kilowatt) used, charging up can give you an extra 100KM of range in around 20-30 mins.12 Please note, DC fast charging units only work for BEVs and not PHEVs.
I’m worried about running out of power, what are my options?
Newer electric vehicle models have ranges of between 150KM and over 400KM, so will likely get you from A to B comfortably and possibly back again on a full charge. There are a lot of things that affect range including the vehicle's battery capacity, road conditions, temperature and driving style, including reducing your speed and not cornering or braking aggressively. Why not download the GoCarma app to help you improve your driving and your range.
In April 2017, the government announced plans to roll out nationwide coverage of fast/rapid direct current charging stations every 75KMs across our state highways13. If you’re planning a long road trip this summer, there’s a handy tool to show you your closest charging station: https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/ev-chargers.
Tower has introduced an additional feature to our RoadWise® roadside assistance optional benefit. If you run out of charge, we’ll get you to a place where you can charge, so you can enjoy peace of mind whilst on the road.
What about insuring my BEV/Hybrid?
The cost of car insurance can vary as we use a risk-based pricing model. This considers things like the type of car you drive, your car's value, the cost to replace or fix parts, and where you live. Read our brief guide to find out more about our car insurance pricing here.
Still need more information?
There's lots of easy to digest information about BEVs and PHEVs available on the Genless website.
You can also find out more about the Clean Car scheme directly from the NZTA website.
If you're a business owner wanting to compare the cost of buying an EV or PHEV vehicle, the Genless vehicle comparison tool is a helpful starting point.
The links we provide to third-party websites are for your convenience and do not constitute any endorsement or authorisation by us. The information provided on this page is general in nature and is not intended to be professional or legal advice. Tower does not accept any liability for the accuracy or content of information on this website that belongs to third parties or on any third-party website.