Although a lot of people are investing time and money into trying to get electric cars accepted into New Zealand – including recently announced concessions by Transport Minister Simon Bridges, as well as introduction of new charging stations – the fact is, widespread use of electric vehicles in this country is still a long way away.
Why? Because they just cost too much.
The current starting price for an EV in New Zealand is just over $76,000,which means it’s out of the reach of most of us, and even for companies puts it into the executive class in terms of price, although in effect it’s a small three-door runabout.
For many of you this EV furore might have caused a few moments of heart flutter in terms of having a sustainable future as an internal combustion engine oriented business, but the financial numbers just won’t add up for EVs until the carmakers bring the prices right down, and actual cost of ownership of an EV compared to a similarly-sized petrol car is currently 2½ times, which means companies won’t take EVs seriously as a viable option. And don’t forget, the New Zealand car market is totally dominated by fleet sales, with an average of seven out of every 10 cars being bought for business use.
On the upside, because they don’t have as many moving parts, including gearboxes etc., EVs don’t need as much service time as petrol and diesel cars – but never fear, there are about 3-million regular cars registered in New Zealand, compared to around 1,000 plug-in hybrids and EVs, so you’re not going to be short of business any time soon!
Our cover this month features dealers who have achieved excellence during the course of the year, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to feature them.
With new vehicle sales reaching the highest levels to date, meaning lots more service throughput, it’s hard for dealers and their workshop staff to be able to continue to offer high levels of support for customers, especially with trained staff on the wane as they seek their fortunes elsewhere.
We applaud those who are managing to keep their standards up, and hope the industry in general is able to continue to follow suit.