One of the biggest challenges of our lifetime is climate change, and we all know that vehicles play an important part.

It’s good to know that today’s new vehicles are more fuel efficient than their predecessors, so as we trade-in our old petrol or diesel vehicle for a modern model we are all going to breathe a little bit easier.

However, the vehicles that will reduce emissions the most are ones with non-combustion engines such as electric and hybrid vehicles. (Hydrogen is still a way off being a part of mainstream motoring).

In New Zealand progress is being made every day in relation to the purchase and use of electric and hybrid vehicles. Currently PHEVs are exempt from Road User Charges and we may see more government supported incentives, including a possible ‘feebate’ on the purchase price to further encourage people to switch from internal combustion engines.

Many models to choose from

As a long-established motor vehicle dealership we are very pleased to be offering more electric (EV) and hybrid (including Plug-In Hybrid Electric or PHEV) vehicles. We now have four brands offering a range of vehicles to help reduce emissions, and more are on their way. There are sporty hatches like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro, and SUVs including the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Kia Sorento. Cars such as the soon-to-arrive Hyundai Ioniq5 and Kia EV6 are taking vehicle design to an exciting new level. There’s also an electric ute and hybrid H6 from Haval planned to be released in New Zealand later this year.

A very popular entry level hybrid is the stylish and well-equipped Suzuki Swift Hybrid, which starts at $26,500 plus on road costs.

To see our full range of electric and hybrid vehicles click here.

What about charging your EV?

One of the key conversation topics with full electric vehicles is the range, or distance you can travel on a full charge. The good news is the range on electric vehicles is improving all the time, and charging time is also reducing.

The Kona EV for example can travel 484 km on a full charge which can be topped up to 80% within 75 minutes. There are also now over 500 charging stations across New Zealand with more being established on average every few weeks.

It’s also important to think about how far you actually drive at one time. In New Zealand most people have relatively short commutes and on average travel only 22km a day, according to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. For longer trips and holidays it’s unlikely you would want or need to drive, say, from Auckland to Wellington non-stop.

And if range or charging on the go is a concern, a hybrid vehicle with the benefit of a petrol engine, when needed, removes any issue about driving range.

The future is now

If you’re thinking about an electric or hybrid vehicle, you’re in good company as many more people are choosing them when it comes time for a new car. Globally, electric vehicle sales are up 43%, and hybrid sales in NZ are up 50% compared to a year ago. And many organisations that run fleets of vehicles are focusing on ways to reduce their overall emissions including switching their entire fleets to electric and hybrid.

Now’s a great time to think about what you are driving and whether a switch to an EV or hybrid might be on the cards. Even if it’s not something you’re ready for just yet, be assured that electric and hybrid vehicles are a great option and are becoming easier and more accessible than ever before.