New DRIVEN research - Kiwis’ main deterrents to electric vehicle purchases

With costs at the petrol pump continuing to increase and consumers looking for alternative travel options, new research by DRIVEN shows that many Kiwis are deterred from buying an electric vehicle, demonstrating the need for more education in this space.

Today’s bumper DRIVEN Sustainability Special in the NZ Herald publishes the results of a survey of 2500 New Zealanders on their attitudes towards sustainable vehicles. The research shows that despite the government’s Clean Car Discount, 75% of respondents said purchase cost was the largest deterrent to purchasing an electric vehicle (EV). More than half of those surveyed noted that driving range per charge was a deterrent, with 54% also saying accessibility to recharging stations was of concern. 

Natasha Callister, NZME’s Head of Automotive and GM of DRIVEN, says it appears from the latest research that more can be done to help educate people on electric and electrified vehicles, and charging infrastructure across New Zealand.

“Te Manatū Waka - Ministry of Transport reports that the average trip leg taken by Kiwis is less than 10 kilometres*.  We now have rapid direct current (DC) charging stations every 75 kilometres across our state highways nationwide and with some battery powered electric vehicles (BEVs) able to travel up to 600 kilometres on a single charge, range is becoming less of a concern.

“This means Kiwis can have confidence in purchasing an EV and knowing it can get them to where they need to go – be it day-to-day travel, or a holiday involving roadtripping. However, that confidence wasn’t reflected in the research, so there’s still education to be done,” she says.

Callister also says whilst the government’s Clean Car Discount is currently focused on a monetary incentive at the point of purchase, DRIVEN’s research shows there could be some real gains on a more holistic focus – tackling other major barriers when it comes to sustainable vehicle purchases.

“It would be fantastic to see the programme extended to subsidise home charging units, for example - something that came out strongly in the research, and a greater focus on educating Kiwis about the charging network that already exist in their local neighbourhoods. As BEV and plug in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) uptake increases, ensuring the charging infrastructure can keep pace with the rate of adoption will also be an important task for government,” she says.

The new research was part of a 40-page pull-out DRIVEN Sustainability Special available in today’s NZ Herald and also available online at

The special report also features in-depth analysis and information related to sustainability in motoring in New Zealand including:

  • A comprehensive guide to every BEV, PHEV and HEV vehicle available on the New Zealand market, including cost, driving range capability, size, pros and cons.
  • A video interview with mobility expert Stephanie Ward from KPMG on how leading countries around the world are designing their cities to enable sustainable mobility and what we can expect to see here in New Zealand.
  • A Clean Car Feebate calculator helping users understand what cars might receive a discount or a fee when the new government legislation comes into effect on 1 April 2022.
  • A preview of a DRIVEN video comparison road test covering three of the most popular BEV, PHEV and HEV vehicles on the NZ market.
  • Consumer research insights into consumer attitudes on sustainable vehicles (as referenced above).


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For further information please contact:

Kelly Gunn

GM Communications – NZME

+64 27 213 5625