New Zealand Surpasses 50% Electric Vehicle Adoption in December 2023

New Zealand has achieved a remarkable milestone with over 50% penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) in December 2023. Changes in government regulations, specifically the “ute tax,” have triggered an unprecedented rush in EV purchases.

In December, 4,455 battery electric vehicles were registered, with the MG4 and Nissan LEAF leading the pack. Notably, plug-in hybrids also made up a considerable portion of the market, and new electric models like the Subaru Solterra, Toyota BZ4, BYD Seal, and Jeep Avenger gained traction.

The breakdown of light vehicle sales in December revealed that 39% were battery electric, 12% plug-in hybrids, and 31% plug-less hybrids. Petrol-powered cars accounted for 13%, and diesel vehicles were a mere 2.3%. Analysts suggest that when combining all levels of electrification, New Zealand has reached 80% of new vehicles with some form of electric power.

The top-selling EVs in December included the MG4, BYD Atto 3, and Tesla Model Y, with MG, BYD, and Tesla leading the podium for auto brands. Mitsubishi Outlander, Eclipse Cross, and Ford Escape were among the top-selling plug-in hybrids.

As of December 2023, New Zealand boasts 73,000 battery electric vehicles and an additional 30,000 plug-in hybrids on its roads, marking a significant increase over the past two years. The country aims to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles to achieve its emissions reduction targets, transitioning from 1% penetration in 2018.

The article concludes by highlighting the goal for New Zealand to become the “Norway of the Pacific” and achieve a total phaseout of fossil-fueled vehicles by 2035. Observers anticipate that fossil-fuel-powered light vehicles could be well on their way to extinction by the end of the decade.

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