Your take-home messages:
Nearly all New Zealand’s current electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid owners are likely to consider buying another EV or PHEV – particularly when more models become available that can travel further, have better off-road capability and carry heavier loads. There is general optimism as the market continues to grow that prices will decrease, and technology will improve in the near future.
This month’s poll:
Our fifteenth 1-click survey proposed that “If I buy another car, it will be an electric (EV) or plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV)”.
Participants could choose between the following five options:
(1) Definitely Yes
(2) Probably Yes
(4) Probably No
(5) Definitely No
The poll was sent on 10 January 2018 to 473 Electric Vehicle (EV) owners and 41 Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV, including Range Extenders) owners who have enrolled in the Flip the Fleet project • 254 EV and 22 PHEV owners responded by 19 December • A total of 138 respondents provided 196 reasons for their choice, with EV owners providing most of the comments (93%).
Fig.1 Responses of EV or PHEV/REX owners to the proposition that “If I buy another car, it will be an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle” (n=276 responses).
Most (91%) current EV and PHEV owners (Fig. 1) would either definitely, or probably purchase another EV or PHEV if needed. Of the remainder 7% were unsure, and only a small minority (2%) were probably not going to purchase another EV or PHEV. Only 1 survey respondent (0.4% – note other numbers have been rounded) was definitely not likely to purchase an EV or PHEV as another vehicle.
What makes you Click?
Six broad themes were identified from 1-click Survey #15 responses. The category of “Other” has not been included in Table 1. It includes new owners who have not yet had an opportunity to fully assess their vehicle’s functionality and miscellaneous comments. Very lengthy comments were split into multiple themes.
Benefits to the environment and sustainability were identified by 15% of respondents as a reason for definitely, or probably purchasing an EV/PHEV as another vehicle. The benefits encompass caring for the planet for future generations along with improving human health and wellbeing. This group (15%) also identified a wide range of general benefits to EV/PHEV ownership, such as the greater enjoyment of driving when compared with driving petrol or diesel only cars.
Just over one-quarter of respondents (26%) specifically mentioned technology. Respondents satisfied with the current technology (9%) that make EV/PHEV ownership more attractive to new buyers highlighted the rapid development of the fast charger network and reduced maintenance requirements. Future technology needs (17%) included longer range, heavy haulage/special purpose (e.g., farm and off-road) and the ability to ‘re-battery’ (i.e. extend battery life).
Cost and affordability (26%) was also mentioned by just over one quarter of respondents. A specific benefit of EV/PHEV ownership was highlighted as their cost-effectiveness to run (14% of respondents). However, the higher up-front purchase price was a barrier for 12% of respondents and for 2% of respondents was a major deciding factor for not purchasing.
Some respondents (3%) emphasised the value of owning both EV/PHEV and ICE vehicles to complement each other. Some EV/PHEV owners (9%) expressed their general distaste for ICE vehicles, seeing them as backward, though were resigned to using them until better EV/PHEV alternatives are available.
Overall, respondents who would probably or definitely not purchase an EV/PHEV provided 7% of comments in these categories. Most focussed on technological barriers (e.g., shorter range and limited battery life) and/or affordability as deciding factors. Several respondents currently owning ICE vehicles opted to retain them until EV/PHEV options more suited to their needs were available (e.g., could tow heavy loads, travel long distances and off road). A few at this stage would replace their old ICE with a newer ICE.
Table 1. Themes in comments by 128 EV and 10 PHEV owners in response to the proposition that “If I buy another car, it will be an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle”. The table excludes comments on miscellaneous themes.
Discussion, conclusions and recommendations:
Our question is a real test of the utility of EVs and the pleasure they give owners. The results show that EV and PHEVs are overwhelmingly happy with their choice of vehicle and the majority (91%) would choose an EV or PHEV again if they buy another car. Many existing EV/PHEV owners most likely to purchase another vehicle of this type, see themselves as having a moral duty both to safeguard the future of the planet through reducing emissions and for society: “We all need to do our bit to drastically reduce our reliance on oil and the grief & damage this causes”. Environmental and sustainability themes are strong among this group, with many enriching their comments by highlighting the benefits (e.g., technological, overall driver experience, running cost) to owning vehicles of this type. A typical example is: “We are more than happy with the performance, running costs and convenience – and frankly, sheer fun – of driving an electric vehicle. And the environmental imperative of drastically reducing fossil fuel emissions means that there is, to our knowledge, no acceptable alternative for a private vehicle.” For others, the shift to an EV (more so than a PHEV), is part of a larger change, both in lifestyle and mindset, for example, slowing down and deriving greater enjoyment from travel.
Constraints of EV ownership are reducing and opportunities increasing because of enhanced technology, better power supply, improved charging infrastructure that are being driven by increased consumer demand. The general tone of comments on this theme suggests confidence that these changes would occur rapidly – within 5 years, and that prices would drop accordingly. Existing technology was obviously attractive to EV/PHEV owners though potential buyers require further information on which base purchasing: “Very interested and just awaiting more options… need to know how well the different manufacturers have adopted and made their EV tech”.
For several respondents, a rapid drop in the resale value of existing EV/PHEVs vehicles raised some concern among early adopters, but pleasing others that want to see the initial capital outlay to reduce enough to get lots more New Zealanders buying EVs.
The reduced costs of run an EV/PHEV was frequently mentioned as was the cost of purchasing new vehicles when compared with purchasing a new/second-hand ICE vehicle. One respondent felt annoyed at the continued focus on purchase costs: “How many people are there out there driving big cars that cost the same as an EV? Anyway, it’s not about short-term cost, it’s about long-term cost”. For a few others, changes need to occur in the current market: “The only obstacle is the cost price, and as long as second-hand imports or subsidized vehicles are available, then it is an excellent choice”.
A shift in mindset between short-term and long-term outlay was highlighted with one respondent stating: “It’s even worth borrowing money to fund the difference in price between EV and non-EV, as the money saved on fuel will more than cover the interest on the loan”. For one respondent, costs savings were calculated in the following way: “the annual money saved on fossil fuel and other running costs will more than cover any requirement for flying and/or hiring a vehicle for the 1-2 times a year that we need to go on long distance road trips”.
Owners of both an EV/PHEV and an ICEs exploit their separate functionality: the EV or PHEV was generally used for shorter distance travel (e.g., for commuting to work and day-to-day driving), while the second (or third) ICE vehicle was used for longer distance travel, the capacity to tow trailers/ caravans and carry more people, or for specialised off-road use requiring 4WD capacity. To consider purchasing an EV or PHEV as a second (or third) vehicle, owners expressed a need for a vehicle with comparable functionality to their current ICE. At present, there are limited models available for these uses (e.g., electric utes), and if models are available, then the cost of purchasing is a major deciding factor – and consequent barrier.
EV owners provided most of the comments, with several respondents critiquing PHEVs, e.g., for being “…a compromise that achieves the worst of both worlds” as well as “…excessively complicated and not very efficient”. However, for one respondent, a PHEV would meet needs better than an EV: “My travel is about the journey and the destination, not about the car, which has to be a timely, reliable long-term, and cost-efficient tool for the job, available at a moment’s notice, doing its work entirely in the background. EVs don’t meet any of my criteria…” For a few others, purchasing a newer ICE vehicle still represented the best option for their lifestyle, current state of technology and power supply infrastructure: “We are moving to the country and the lack of range of an EV will become even more of a problem. It is likely that we would buy a small diesel car with good fuel economy and range instead”. As early adopters, some EV/PHEV owners were openly critical of ICE vehicles: “…create a lot of waste – exhaust, heat and noise for minimal gain. Its fuel is energy and pollution intensive and ultimately limited in availability” highlighting that newer technologies offer many more benefits both to society and the environment.
Recommendations from this survey are:
- make EVs/PHEVs more attractive by keeping the wider community up-to-date with improvements in technology (particularly range and power) as well as progress within the second-hand car markets and price changes as the market for new vehicles matures
- provide dollar cost calculations for loan and purchase scenarios that off-set longer-term EV/PHEV running costs
- highlight both the measurable practical as well as less measurable aspects of EV users: the enhanced driver experience or feel of driving an EV/PHEV when compared with a conventional ICE vehicle
- provide more emphasis on the environmental benefits of EVs and importance of these for owners to balance the emphasis on their cost effectiveness
Your comments in detail
Below is a lightly edited and re-arranged record of all the comments received.
Looking ahead to the Future:
“I believe our next car will be 100% electric. It is the best/only way to go in the future” ● “After experiencing an E-Car for over a year, I feel that it is so obviously the way forward” ● “Clearly, EVs are the way of the future” ● “1 month of EV ownership has already confirmed that this is the future of transportation” ● “Low emissions vehicles future. BEVs are currently the best technology off the shelf” ● “Having owned a Leaf for more than a year now I am convinced that EVs are here to stay” ● “Because EVs are the way of the future” ● “I’m sure EV is the way to go, I will upgrade to a better EV as soon as possible” ● “We should expect in the future to be constrained in our use of domestic vehicles, but the technology in the electric cars is so good we feel the constraint is easily manageable” ● “Company policy to increase the number of fleet EVs”
Technology will only get better:
“I confidently anticipate a rapid improvement of the technology, especially battery life & capacity, the only slight constraint at present” ● “My next EV will probably go 300km & tow a trailer!” ● “As battery life increases with technology and prices come down you would be silly not to” ● “Because our EV is the best car we’ve ever owned and I think they are only going to get better” ● “EV’s are just getting better and better (Range and Design)” ● “Very satisfied with my existing EV and the rapid development of the fast charger network. Things are only going to get better. More range, more choice of vehicle, better prices and more charger availability” ● “The gap between EVs and conventional cars is closing fast. EVs outperform Petrol and Diesel cars in every way, except range. Range is being addressed with fast charging and longer range EVs. EVs are a much more simple machine, easier to build and maintain once manufacturing catches up I think the price of EVs will start to compete with conventional cars. In 5 years range will not be an issue with EVs” ● “We will be watching with keen interest the developments in public transport initiatives, and the environmental implications and performance of lithium batteries, when considering means of transport in the future.” ● “Whilst the infrastructure for the EV era is being established, the cost of travel is very cheap, later on these vehicles will become the norm and will attract a cost relative to the political need, it’s at this point, the powers that be, can start reaping a profit. So, at this stage the true cost of running these vehicles will be made. Hopefully the price of the vehicles and their range will still make them a viable option” ● “If I have a second vehicle I would use it to travel further than my immediate locality. Recharging outside New Plymouth before reaching another centre is not easy at present. As the range of electric vehicles increases I would consider this” ● “The building infrastructure and new cars with improved ranges will soon make EVs practical and affordable for more families” ● “Very interested and just awaiting more options, which are greatly needed. Need to know how well the different manufacturers have adopted and made their EV tech”
It’s better for the planet:
“I care about the future of our planet. Anything which can help reduce carbon emissions should be a very high priority for government, business, and every citizen” ● “Reducing my family’s carbon footprint and striving for a sustainable NZ is important to me” ● “It’s the very least we can do to try and keep our planet liveable for future generations” ● “Having watched “Before the Flood”, doco film on youtube about climate change, I was prompted to make a change. If we get 1000 times more energy from the sun that the world requires each day, it is the source that we should be tapping. I don’t have any figures and only assuming that if we’d spent the money that is used for oil exploration on solar energy capture, the world might be a better off at this point in time. I think it’ll be near impossible to get right away from fossil fuel use on the highways, but if all the people moving fleet was electric it would be a good thing” ● “Mainly because EVs are better for the environment… We have also chosen to go vegan as that is the best thing we can do to help the environment and is also a much healthier way of eating” ● “Climate change, climate change, climate change. There are air pollution issues too, which can cause respiratory problems and is associated with low birthweight babies (no causal relationship proven for that yet, but strong suspicion). But actually in Auckland we don’t have much trouble with our air, it all blows across and out to sea pretty fast” ● “Looking after the planet for my kids, and for its own sake” ● “We must drastically lower emissions” ● “Because we aren’t upper middle class National-voting scum who put selfish personal gain ahead of keeping the planet liveable for future generations” ● “Love that my carbon footprint had been lowered” ● “the environmental imperative of drastically reducing fossil fuel emissions means that there is, to our knowledge, no acceptable alternative for a private vehicle” ● “Driving an EV is a pleasure. It also makes me happy to be contributing to reducing emissions and makes me happy to walk the talk and live my values”
Keeping up with the trend:
“We may not be “shock troops”, rather early adopters who like to be on the right side of history. Transport technology is moving to a rapid and disruptive rhythm – we aim to stay on the wave…” ● “We are concerned that ICE cars will soon drop in value due to the realisation that new cars will quickly move to electric, given our experience with our Ioniq” ● “Early adopters help speed the transition” ● “They are fun to drive. They make me proud to be helping along a revolution and sticking a finger at the vested interests that have been so slow to encourage EV uptake and not been required to pick up the tab for polluting ICE vehicles”
Buying an EV/PHEV is my duty – we all need to do our bit:
“I believe that morally I am duty bound to buy an EV if I can afford it, whatever the cost” ● “I already own an EV which has been fantastic so far – and we all need to do our bit to drastically reduce our reliance on oil and the grief & damage this causes” ● “I like to do my bit as an individual” ● “It is the responsible thing to do” ● “It is the right thing to do to reduce usage of fossil fuels” ● “Climate change isn’t happening by itself, and it won’t fix itself while we’re still part of the problem. We need to start being part of the solution. It starts by each of us doing our little bit, and making the small sacrifices necessary” ● “As someone who can afford to be an early EV adopter, I feel it’s my obligation to do my bit to speed up the uptake of EV’s and renewable energy” ● “Love my EV, it’s great to drive and I like the environmentally responsible feeling it gives me” ● “Trying to do our little bit for the planet and our grandchildren” ● “We are committed to driving EVs. They’re quiet, comfortable, easy and cheap and makes every trip a ‘journey’” ● “I recognize that for most people an EV is totally impracticable. I do think however that EVERYONE should have at least a hybrid if they can POSSIBLY afford it”
ICE vehicles have had their day:
“As an Engineer, I hate energy inefficiency. As a machine the ICE car is incredibly inefficient at what it does. It creates a lot of waste – exhaust, heat and noise for minimal gain. Its fuel is energy and pollution intensive and ultimately limited in availability, which should be put to better use” ● “Once you own an EV, you realize what an inefficient and poor design the internal combustion engine car is, with its low efficiently, maintenance costs and poor delivery of motion, requiring gear boxes and clutches etc” ● “I am in Central Auckland. Previous owner has made it possible to have 3 pin plug at both my parking places at ground and mezz floors. the el. is measured on my meter at the 12th floor, so my situation is unique. There is fast charging in the next street. The shear ease of driving an el. car, why would you have anything else. We are old and do not require long distance driving, but with planning, it can be done” ● “We already have 2 electric cars, and now that we know how awesome they are, we’ll never go back to an Infernal Combustion Engine car!” ● “I can’t see myself ever going back to a pure ICE vehicle” ● “An ICE is noisy and polluting and costly to run!” ● “Wouldn’t go back. ICE vehicles on way out” ● “Will never buy an ICE car again because of smooth driving with no smell” ● “I feel guilty about what I am doing to the environment on the rare occasions when I have to drive an ICEV” ● “Driving an BEV is a wonderful experience, I wouldn’t even contemplate going backwards and driving an ICE vehicle again” ● “Now that I have made the change, going back to an ICE car, even to a hybrid) is not even an option for me. I wouldn’t even consider a PHEV. My thinking around travel has completely changed and I would rather not be able to go some places than drive an ICE. I don’t even like going places with friends and being a passenger in their ICE cars. I’m becoming an antisocial asshole! Not really!” ● “I begrudge the cost of maintaining the petrol/diesel engine” ● “I didn’t want to spend any more money on petrol or diesel” ● “Economically it is now growing risky to invest in ICEs, as resale values are already dropping it appears and I can’t see any future in ICEs for personal/household use. So from a purely utilitarian perspective, it makes no sense to contemplate investing at some point in the future in redundant technology”
Addicted to oil…but:
“I Love Oil. It’s got our society, our way of living and our technology where it is today. We wouldn’t have what we have now without it. Nearly everything we need and want has in some way been touched by it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t need to burn 25% of the oil we dig up, putting it into the atmosphere, polluting the air our families breathe where we cannot ever get it back. It should be used and recycled for the generations to come” ● “The technology is available now to kick the fossil fuel habit. I look forward to the day when I can drive everywhere with my windows down and air vents open, knowing I’m not exposing myself and my family to invisible, hazardous emissions. Emissions out of sight, does not mean emissions should be out of mind. Add a harmless visual dye to fossil fuels, and then see how fast people want change!”
Never turning back!
“I currently have a plug-in hybrid. I intend to get a smaller, fully EV car when my plug in is about 5-8 year’s old. Never turning back!” ● “To go back to a petrol only car would be inconceivable” ● “Why would we go backwards?” ● “Buying a new ICE car makes no sense whatsoever… No more fossil fuelled cars for me!” ● “We don’t have any requirements that aren’t yet covered by a current EV or PHEV make and model” ● “With solar power installed I would not consider anything but fully electric. less than 1 cent per Km!” ● “I have a 2015 Nissan Leaf and it’s fantastic. Great to drive, quiet. Would hate to go back to old cars!!!” ● “After buying one I would not go back to ICE vehicle due to lower running costs” ● “I so love my EV that I would not want to go back to an ICE car. The longer I use it, the more I love it” ● “I will never buy another ICV in my life and any new car will be an EV rather than a PHEV (the later just don’t deliver the costs or environmental benefits). For others it may need a while longer to make the EVs the only and far cheaper option” ● “I will never buy another internal combustion car again. EV all the way for me” ● “After owning a Nissan Leaf, I’d never go back to a petrol vehicle. The fuel is so cheap, and the maintenance costs are minimal” ● “I bought my last ICE car in 2007, a Prius…but it’s been converted to a plug-in hybrid and I still use it. I fully expect it will be the last ICE I’ll own”
EVs are just… no brainers!
“I just love electric cars!” ● “No-brainer. It’s the way the World is going!” ● “It’s a no brainer in NZ with over 80% of our electricity coming from renewable sources” ● “EV’s are a no brainer… they are much more efficient, and just make scientific, financial and ecological sense” “It is a no brainer for the planet” ● “Its a no brainer!” ● “Can’t wait to replace my diesel van with electric!” ● “Everything is good about electric vehicles, no reason to change my mind!”
Multiple benefits outweigh negatives:
“The savings in running costs are amazing, and an EV is just so good to drive!” ● “More enjoyable and easier to drive, quieter, cheaper to run, cheaper and easier to service” ● “There are so many reasons: 1.) I have noticed no significant increase in my electricity cost, effectively making me feel as though my car is now almost free to use. 2.) I love saving time by not having to buy petrol every week or so. 3.) We enjoy long trips even though we have a small leaf – it’s fun and it makes driving exciting again. 4.) That said, 99.9% of our trips are short round-town ones anyway and we experience no range anxiety; 5.) I get free parking in Auckland in a range of spots (thanks Vector!) – this is awesome! 6.) Lastly, it’s so nice knowing that you’re not throwing all these carbons and stinking chemicals into the air/other people’s faces!” ● “More environmentally friendly, cheaper in the long run, more reliable, more fun to drive, less noise, more 21st century” ● “An electric car will be more modern technology and will be better to drive than any petrol car. It will be cheaper to run and less polluting” ● “Cleaner, Cheaper to run, Fast” ● “The advantages of electric cars are so great, and the disadvantages so minuscule, that it makes no sense not to drive one if you possibly can” ● “Clean and hardly any noise, great to drive too” ● “Because a BEV is environmentally friendly and cheap to run” ● “Cost of running is low, driving pleasure is high, massive environmental benefits” ● ‘It’s great not having to visit gas stations. Its making me more aware of the journeys I make and questioning whether there is another means to get to my destination bus or bike” ● “We are more than happy with the performance, running costs and convenience – and frankly, sheer fun – of driving an electric vehicle” ● “The smooth, quiet ride of the EV, the power if I want it, the stability on the road, the cheap running costs and the environmental advantage of not using petrol or oil!” ● “This week’s Herald article (https://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/99657465/the-highs-and-lows-of-living-with-an-electric-vehicle) said EV owners have rose tinted windscreens. Maybe that’s true, but if EVs work for us, they will work for lots of others too” ● “Super to drive, quiet and no emissions, great for round town and can manage rural journeys between fast chargers”
EVs driver experience:
“EVs are just plain nicer to drive. Noise is also harmful to wellbeing and EVs are very quiet” ● “Buying an electric car is the best decision I have ever made. Cheap to run, quick, quiet and a pleasure to drive” ● “Fun to drive and I don’t need the range, household income $200k+/y, no mortgage” ● “It slows one down and makes one appreciate life” ● “The driving experience is so much nicer in an electric car” ● “To me owning an electric car is just a change in your mind set. I live in the country and have hills to climb to get back home so I need to be sure that I have enough power to do that. But to answer the question I would say that an electric car is so cost effective, you just need to remember to charge it; that is what I mean by a change in your mind set” ● “Driving an EV is a pleasure” ● “Taking life at a slower pace these days means I’m quite content to take longer to get to Christchurch from Dunedin in my EV. Actually, I’ve had a lot of pleasant surprises in the little towns and cities with chargers on those journeys, and I can catch up on email along the way”
Purchasing another PHEV…
“Definitely will be a plug-in hybrid, definitely won’t be an EV. My travel is about the journey and the destination, not about the car, which has to be a timely, reliable long-term, and cost efficient tool for the job, available at a moment’s notice, doing its work entirely in the background. EVs don’t meet any of my criteria…”
Not convinced/ right time yet…
“For the moment, we will make do with a petrol car for secondary and out of town transport. In the not too distant future, I envisage that the petrol car will be replaced by another EV” ● “We still have an ICE. We both dislike driving our 2yr old Golf and would prefer both cars were similar in response. ● “We are moving to the country and the lack of range of an EV will become even more of a problem. It is likely that we would buy a small diesel car with good fuel economy and range instead” ● “Lack of range, 100km per charge just won’t cut it in the country…” ● “If it was to replace our LEAF, then definitely yes – because it is ideal, especially for local travel. If it is to replace our 12 year old Peugeot 407 diesel which is now used only once or twice a week (if the Leaf is not available) and for long trips, then I would probably replace it with a similar (second hand) vehicle because: 1. it is probably needed for less than 4,000km per annum 2. the extra capital cost of an EV would be hard to justify with such low annual km 3. the convenience of not having to refuel for 900km” ● “Just need to wait for some larger, cheaper EV’s before I can ditch the ICE. Much nicer to drive and much cheaper to run” ● “Would definitely like electric but not many electric utes out there. Range is still an issue as well” ● “We will need a decent size vehicle capable of carrying/towing a moderately sized payload (people or trailers) over a 200km+ range. So it will depend on what is available that can do this and what price and range the electric vehicle has. Also, we don’t tend to buy new, as depreciation sucks value out of an asset very badly for the first few years of a new vehicle’s life, so will probably have to wait till used options of such a capable vehicle become available. But our need to replace existing vehicles soon will arise well before this happens, so we will almost certainly need to consider an ICE, or at least a hybrid, in the meantime. We would definitely go EV or PHEV if a vehicle with the right load/range capability was available at a price we could afford), but don’t think the right supply will be available for a few years yet” ● “It will all depend if we are able to get a six seater EV” ● “It depends what we want the car for. The EV is for city use while our other car is for long distance use. If we need to replace the Leaf in 10 years, then definitely another EV, but if we need to replace the Odyssey it will depend a new car’s capacity and range” ● “We love the EV, but have retained a second non-EV for longer trips. Once there is a reasonable priced EV that could do Dunedin – Christchurch with just one recharge we would be happy to be a completely EV family” ● “I would prefer to buy an electric vehicle, but practicality (range, vehicle type) also play a role in making this decision” ● “Love driving our existing EVs. Only thing preventing me purchasing another one now is lack of choice – really want an EV Ute, but currently none on the market” ● “Our second vehicle is a 4 wheel drive diesel ute. Once an EV (or PHEV if need be) alternative becomes viable for us cost-wise, we will be very keen. Hopefully that happens before we are forced to replace the ute! ” ● “Next car I buy might be a 6 seater for out of town trips. I don’t like the Outlander, so will be dependant on what is available in the market when I am ready to buy. I would prefer to buy a vehicle with the technology used in the Nissan Note e-power, but in a 6 seater. Alternately, will buy another Nissan Leaf or Nissan Note e-power for my teenage children to drive when they are ready!” ● “It would all depend on cost of car and hopefully getting a better range on it! ” ● “Our family currently has 2 cars – 1 EV and 1 petrol car. The ev is our recent purchase so it is our petrol car which will need to be replaced next. I’d like to go fully electric with both cars, but charging the ev to date hasn’t been 100% reliable so I have some reservations” ● “Next purchase will be to replace an SUV. Hopefully a number of EV or hybrid options will be available then” ● “So long as I can get one on my price range. Likely next car will be a replacement for our family SUV so will need to fit all the family and gear, the dog, and tow a caravan in the weekends”
When EVs/PHEVs become more affordable:
“The Annual money saved on fossil fuel and other running costs will more than cover any requirement for flying and/or hiring a vehicle for the 1-2 times a year that we need to go on long distance road trips. Whilst lowering our overall annual emissions drastically” ● “Its cheap to run!” ● “Cheaper to run” ● “It’s even worth borrowing money to fund the difference in price between EV and non-EV, as the money saved on fuel will more than cover the interest on the loan” ● “I know there are affordable solutions for whatever my second car or next car purchase will be. I also know that those Solutions are becoming financially and technologically more and more attractive every day” ● “cheap running” ● “I get sick of all the nit-picking about cost. How many people are there out there driving big cars that cost the same as an EV? Anyway, it’s not about short-term cost, it’s about long-term cost” ● “Over the next few years new ones will be somewhat more affordable, and the range of second hand imports somewhat wider…so my choices will only get wider”
But EVs/PHEVs are currently expensive:
The only obstacle is the cost price, and as long as second-hand imports or subsidized vehicles are available, then it is an excellent choice” ● “If I was to buy a hybrid, it will only be because long range BEVs are still out of my price range” ● “As more affordable options come on the market with longer range we will definitely switch our second car to electric but I don’t know when that will be” ● “Just waiting for Lotto so I can get a 2018 Leaf!” ● “Already have a leaf, not selling that. My other car is a falcon wagon, no affordable alternatives yet that are electric” ● “EVs won’t be appropriate for me until they are cheaper and have a lot more range. I don’t expect this for 3-5 years” ● “I would to make my next car an EV, but we’re downsizing and looking in 5-7K range, so EV currently out of budget” ● “We are a family of 5 and already have 2 cars – Leaf + ICE station wagon. If we bought another car it would be to replace our ICE – Second car for us would ideally be a ute or a 4wd. Unlikely that our budget would stretch to an Outlander. Most likely we would make do with what we have (Leaf + Toyota station wagon) for a few more years and then see what is available” ● “I might in the future, buy a B-EV that had greater range. This would satisfy medium range journeys with bikes, and the occasional longer-range journey too. The market, however is in a state of flux at present. The currently available models new, are too expensive or have similar features as the Nissan Leaf but the potential models on the horizon from various manufacturers could appeal in the future” ● “I expect that I have to replace my car that tows the caravan and boat within the next 6 months and at this stage there are only a few hybrid cars available that could do that, and they are only available in the UK. So, I am seriously considering that if I can get a car at the right price, but that may be a challenge” ● “Having owned a PHEV for over 3 years ….love the EV much more than the H part so would love to move to full EV but will be waiting for a few more years I imagine until that next wave of EVs are available post Tesla 3 and something offers all I need. Or might buy a cheaper leaf anyway …..” ● “If I had to replace my petrol vehicle today, I would still replace it with a petrol or diesel vehicle – for range and 4wd. Of course if I could get much greater range and 4wd capability in an EV (without the cost going through the roof), which will happen one day, then I would purchase an EV to replace that too” ● “I slightly begrudge the extra cost of purchase” ● “The range of second hand imports of EVs and PHEVs is still limited but it offers all the vehicle types I would need / consider for my next car…and at affordable prices. New ones are still out of my price range” ● “Depends on funds at the time, but providing I had the coin then EV ever time. Petrol is average and expensive” ● “Cost would be a factor” ● “Depends a little on price and range and whether it will be one of two vehicles”
We also need to improve technology:
“Need to sort the electricity distribution system though. More PV panels on grooves, and better storage batteries” ● “I enjoy driving electric car. Only one concern is it is not convenient for long distance travel due to battery life” ● “The only thing standing in the way of another EV in our household is the current lack of infrastructure to enable easy rapid charging while going on a long journey… that is, failing a Lotto win to allow purchase of a Tesla! However, developments in this area are advancing all the time” ● “I am hopeful that my EV could one day be “re-batteried” for longer range”
Flexible lifestyles: owning EV/PHEV & ICE vehicles
Have 3 cars, 1 EV (60% of travel) and 2 ICE (40% of travel). The next car we buy will be replacing another ICE with a medium-range EV. The two EVs will then cover >95% of travel. The 4-wheel-drive ICE will then be used for cases that the two EVs aren’t suited for (driving in muddy paddock, heavy towing, long trips with no public charging available)” ● “As an EV owner, and being delighted with it, I can’t imagine why anyone would consider a non-electric vehicle, other than for special purposes not yet covered by the current state of EV development (farm tractor, heavy haulage, etc.)” ● “We have a second vehicle- a campervan. If you are a 2-vehicle family it’s a no-brainer to have an EV as your round-town car” ● “Oh because I just love our leaf and the only reason we kept our big ICE is to tow a trailer and the convenience of travel, but for sure there is no way back to fossil fuels for us!!” ● “I really enjoy my Leaf, and would only change for increased range. However, if I purchase a caravan I will need something to tow it which is likely to be diesel or petrol” ● “We are hugely in favour of electric cars and reluctant to buy a petrol car. But we cannot say “definitely” as we are still tossing up whether we need a car with a greater range etc. Having said that, we are leaning towards being an EV-only household” ● “I would love to buy another EV to replace our second ICE car but we need a car that can tow a boat, drive long distances (we live in the country) and doesn’t come with a big price tag. The Leaf is the only EV currently on the market in NZ that is within our price range, but it can’t tow and its limited range makes it more suited to being a commuter vehicle (it’s perfect for this purpose too)” ● “WE own a motorhome, SUV, Estate VW and Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is the preferred vehicle for commuting and medium-duration journeys. Clearly the motorhome, which is getting on a bit, is not just a mode of transport. The SUV is a decent off-roader/towing vehicle. The VW estate transports the family and 4 bikes + luggage afar” ● “My current EV (Leaf Gen II) works perfectly for our day to day use. We have retained our internal combustion car for longer trips (mostly too and from our bach). I believe within 5 years that long range EVs will be available at an affordable price and hence I will have no use for IC tech. Also – I do love driving passed petrol stations and not stopping …” ● “I’m lucky enough to have a good retirement income. This also allows me to keep an old ICV vehicle going for towing and long trips, so I can dodge the problems of lack of charging infrastructure” ● “Currently we have 2 cars. One full EV the other petrol for long distances. Expect the next new car to replace the petrol in about 5 years. I hope that by then a full EV replacement will have the range” ● “At the moment I have “hybrid” capability via two cars, collectively worth about $26K. A 2011 1st gen Leaf for short trips/ around-town running does about 15,000km p.a. a 2006 ICE for long distances, on which it gets 6.4l/100km and travels about 20,000km p.a. so if I replace a car, which one is it? or do I take the plunge and buy just one? if so, the Hyundai ICONIQ looks appealing”
The PHEV lifestyle
“Next will probably be a plug-in hybrid. This is the most convenient for longer journeys. For example, it would be difficult to get to New Plymouth just on electric from Auckland. We have friends in Whangamata but their charging station was working but now is shown as coming soon. I emailed about this and they are waiting for a part to arrive. So, there is still a little anxiety about distance. A plug-in hybrid would be fine around town with no need for petrol”
Hybrids/PHEVs just don’t cut it
“I would NOT buy a hybrid” ● “I regard a hybrid as a bit of a cop-out” ● “I would buy a pure EV; not a hybrid. Cheaper running, less maintenance and less polluting” ● “if I replace a car I can tell you for sure is that it won’t be a PHEV. That seems to be a compromise that achieves the worst of both worlds. excessively complicated and not very efficient”
New owners/ other:
“Have already ordered a new 2018 Nissan Leaf which is due to arrive in the next couple of months” ● “It is up to the owner to decide if they will replace next car with a hybrid” ● “Have only had an EV for a month and still need to understand all the costs and benefits” ● “I’ll be looking for a crashed Leaf – to build a new project car” ● “Still very new to the EV – just had a Nissan Leaf for 30 days. But really enjoying its quiet drive and cheap running costs. My dad who brought a similarly priced Corolla recently said yesterday that he thought he have brought a Leaf instead. My only concern is how well the battery will last over 10+ years” ● “I love my EV, but I haven’t had it very long so want to see how the batteries go!” ● “You are preaching to the choir” ● “We rather unexpectedly brought our EV before Christmas – mostly for Peninsular to town runs. It’s great & we are starting to trust our experience with battery life. So grateful we didn’t go hybrid route- it wouldn’t have been of true value on our shopping basket runs”
This survey was partly funded by the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
What should we ask the members next?
Please suggest questions to ask of your fellow EV owners in future 1-click surveys – email your requests to email@example.com.
Monica Peters, Henrik Moller, Morgan Knoesen and Dima Ivanov
20 January 2018