Your take-home messages:
Test drives and word-of-mouth are the main sources of information that help New Zealanders switch to electric vehicles, but information in media and websites are also important. Females are most persuaded by test drives, and younger purchasers rely more on websites and social media. Providing that adequate supply of EVs keeps their cost contained, ramping the demand for EVs amongst new types of investors is now mainly a matter of patience and persistence. Well-established teams of collaborators just need to keep their independent and authoritative EV information streams flowing at full force.
This month’s poll:
Our twenty-third 1-click survey asked New Zealand EV owners to complete the following statement “The main source of information that persuaded me to buy an EV was …” by choosing one of six options:
2. A test drive
3. A website
4. A community event
5. Social media, paper, radio, TV
Respondents were invited to specify details or give reasons for their choices. If they added comments they were also asked to declare their age, gender and model of EV.
The poll was sent to 1,017 participants in Flip the Fleet on 15 September 2018. There were 535 responses by 26 September 2018, 410 of which included comments to explain the reason for their answer.
Why did we ask this question?
We wanted to better understand where, when and how people accessed the information that persuaded them to take the final leap to buy an electric car. Our aim was to guide low emission vehicle advocates, dealers and Flip the Fleet itself to where they should concentrate their efforts to persuade more people to buy EVs.
In retrospect, we phrased the moot too generally. Around a third (35%) of all respondents chose option 6 (‘Other’). Inspection of the subset that provided comments for this choice suggests that several declared their reasons for buying an EV rather than where they got their information for their choice. Their reasons reiterated those that have been well canvassed in earlier 1-click surveys (e.g. https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-18/), especially emission-free travel and low running costs
Misinterpretation of the question forced us to weed out the scores of respondents whose comments indicated that they were giving the reason for their choice rather than the source of information for the decision. We discarded 78 of those selecting ‘Other’ because their comments focused solely on emissions reduction, model availability, loan interest rates, running costs, and drops in purchase price. A further 29 comments were reallocated to their corresponding categories, as the main source or event that lead to EV purchase was still clear from their comments. This left us with 343 responses for which we can be confident that the owner was genuinely considering where they got their main information to buy, rather than the reason to buy.
Almost a third of survey participants were most persuaded to buy an EV following a test drive (27%), while one in five found word-of-mouth (20%) was the most convincing (Fig. 1). Media (19%) and websites (15%) were slightly less important influencers, while very few (2%) were most persuaded by community events.
This still leaves a miscellaneous category of ‘Other’ sources of information (17%). These included watching environmental and tech-savvy films, attending lectures, seeing ‘what could be’ during travels overseas, conversations at car dealerships, and the mirroring of EV purchase modelled by family or close friends: “My youngest son bought one, then my oldest son bought one, as a father I could not stay behind and not join them and finally the son of my oldest son got one too. It has been a family thing to do our bit for the environment”.
Some participants that chose ‘Other’ stated there was a severe lack of information in general when they bought an EV a while ago, while several declared that they didn’t need any persuasion at all to buy an EV as it was inherent in their lifestyle values alongside eco-installations such as solar.
Quite a few ‘Other’ answers explained the decision to go EV was a collective one made following extensive “personal research”, and using “accumulated evidence” from several sources and experiences (each with an equal decisive impact). For example, one owner stated: “The rationale for buying an electric car was built up from many sources, all important but none seem more important than any others. We have had a long-standing interest in solar electric. There was media chat about electric cars. A colleague at work has a Nissan Leaf. A colleague of my daughter has a Nissan Leaf (and frustration over its range). The science behind global warming and the push to move away from fossil fuel use has become stronger. A local man set up a taxi service based on electric vehicles and a huge solar electric system. This was reported in the local paper. I rang him and he talked about what he’d done. Hyundai promotion for the Ioniq claimed a range of over 200km at a price that was within range. Then the websites on electric vehicles and the charging network provided supporting information”.
Figure 1. Main information sources that persuaded the purchaser to buy an electric vehicle. Data include 343 respondents that commented on the reasons for being most influenced by that source, September 2018.
In general, the main sources of information differed little between age and gender groups (Tables 1 & 2). Younger EV owners relied less on word-of-mouth and more on media and websites than did middle-aged purchasers. Middle-aged purchasers relied least on media. Seniors tended to rely least on word-of-mouth and more on media.
Table 1: Main information source that persuaded participants of different ages to purchase an electric vehicle. Data are sourced from 341 responses to the Flip the Fleet survey who commented and indicated their age in response to the main question.
Further inspection of the references to media suggests that the younger owners consulted social media more than their older counterparts who tended to rely on mainstream media: 29% of media mentions by respondents who were under 50 years old referred to social media sources, compared to just 9% amongst the 50+ year group. The mainstream media mentioned were newspapers, printed articles and reports, radio and films.
Men are more likely to use media as their main information source before buying an EV, while women are mainly using the test drive experience to decide (Table 2).
Table 2: Responses to questions about the main information source that persuaded participants to purchase an electric vehicle by gender. Data are sourced from 335 responses to the Flip the Fleet survey and includes those who provided an information-related comment and indicated their gender.
What makes you click?
Personal testimony of owners really helps
Conversations between potential purchasers and work colleagues, family members, in-laws, bosses, neighbours, car salespeople and EV champions have convinced about 1 in 5 of you to make the switch to electric vehicles. It seems having a genuine interaction with a current EV owner is crucial to gaining the credible ‘insider info’ needed to make an informed choice. For one participant: “Talking to people who already had an EV was the way of confirming all the information gained from many other methods”, while another admits; “Donald Love talked me into it”. Seeing and hearing from work colleagues and family members who are enjoying the EV experience is hugely influential.
Community events may be more important than the scores suggest
Although our survey presented word-of-mouth and community events as separate options for main sources of persuasive EV information, it seems the two have combined on many occasions to give a winning formula. Community events have presented a chance for interested public to speak to current owners when there isn’t a neighbour, co-worker or family member nearby to pester for information. Therefore, even though community events scored only 2% of your vote, the gateway they create for information to be dispersed shouldn’t be overlooked: “I attended an EV public event at The Dowse. There were many EVs and their owners, all willing to talk about their cars and I had a test drive. There was also a EV car sales company that I ended up buying my car from. I had already done some research and joined some Facebook groups as I was interested in getting an EV – however it was this event that convinced me that an EV was right for me. Mainly it was talking to people who actually owned, drove and charged them that gave me the chance to get all my questions answered”.
Just drive it! – bumping EV misconceptions and increasing uptake through drive experience
A test drive was deemed “the clincher” for many purchasers. Opposing and biased information can skew perceptions, and there’s nothing like seeing or doing something for yourself to help you make up your own mind: “I thought the Leaf was a tiny “toy car” until I drove one. That completely changed my perspective. This happened on Leading The Charge in Dunedin in 2016. We bought our Leaf shortly after that”.
A number of you opted to try an EV when needing to hire a car for remote work or a holiday. Day-loans from car dealerships, joy rides at numerous EV events, and driving an EV as a work vehicle have all convinced ICE owners to go electric. There’s been a lot of sharing spirit to give potential buyers information to make an informed decision and build confidence that EVs are both practical to own and pleasant to drive: “I have now given numerous friends, family, and complete strangers rides and/or let them drive my car. I hundred-percent stand by the fact that once you have driven one, it is only a matter of time before you flip”.
The power of the driving experience has influenced both private and business purchases e.g. Driving personal EVs to work and taking bosses on test drives has encouraged uptake of EVs in business fleets, while cruising around in an EV for work is proving to employees that they are worth the personal investment: “I was driving the first Leaf taxi in Whangarei for Joe Camuso (superstar) and fell in love with it”.
Dealers facilitating EV uptake
For the most part, survey participants have encountered helpful, informed and fair dealers when considering EVs. Dealers deemed “great sources of information” have gone above and beyond to make vehicles available to interested buyers: “I had been talking with the owner of a local car sales about the Nissan Leaf and whether they intended to import any. He said if I was interested they would and that’s what happened”.
When faced with infinite and confusing online information, car dealers were an important source of information for some purchasers: “I found it difficult to get accurate information online about EVs. Lots of misinformation and rumours. Talking to an experienced dealer and taking a drive made me take the plunge”.
It all comes down to trust and reputation e.g. one respondent decided to buy because it was “available and affordable from a dealer who people spoke well of”. For another, trust was built during the process: “ultimately it was the experience of visiting a knowledgeable dealer, seeing cars in person, driving one and listening to his knowledge and reasons to go electric”.
Nevertheless not all dealers built confidence: one respondent bought their EV “from a car dealer in Wellington that didn’t know anything about them”.
The special power of social media
Social media shone through as “invaluable” to help some people build confidence to buy electric. Local EV Facebook groups have connected potential buyers with owners both near and far, where information can flow back and forth with minimal effort in a secure environment. There are many posts appearing in the EV Owners’ Facebook groups of people asking pivotal questions as checks during a last stage of the purchase process. Obviously some people like the digital yet personable option; stating it grew ‘a familiarity with the issues associated with owning a Leaf which gave [me] the confidence to go ahead and buy one’.
This form of media was also useful for those approaching EVs from a purely environmental stand point, with one owner stating: “I wanted an EV for environmental impact and was nervous about the real-world application. Facebook conversations gave me confidence”. What’s more, any awkwardness in asking ‘newbie questions’ seems to dissipate with a screen between prospective and current owners, who feel “able to think aloud and get answers to all the questions” they may have.
Deemed a place where people feel comfortable to “ask questions and read about other’s experiences” on a fairly personal level, this form of media has helped in both the buying of EVs and mastering the ins and outs of vehicle ownership. Some used social media to accrue knowledge during the buying process, while for others: “Hooking into Facebook groups came after the purchase but was extremely useful after we’d already committed ourselves to buying an EV”.
Flip the Fleet is an information destination and disperser
Providing “reassurance of a supportive community of EV owners”, Flip the Fleet was also viewed as a useful social platform for those considering a switch. While the website “answered all our questions on battery health, how to charge, which kind of plug to get etc.”, the “firmware write ups” and papers provided along with promotional activities such as the Otago Daily Times article and interviews on RadioNZ have been influential to owners during their EV journey. Awesome! These comments align with many unsolicited emails that the Flip the Fleet team receive from purchasers who refer to the information taking some of the stress and uncertainty out of the situation.
The Courtesy Car project is a winner
Information gathered at Automotive diagnostics training seminars and through word-of-mouth within industry has led several vehicle service providers to join the Courtesy Car project, buy an EV, and upskill: “The idea behind it was for it to be used as a workshop loan vehicle to give more people a chance to drive an EV & also for us to learn how to service, maintain & repair them”. The project was part funded by the government’s Low Emission Vehicle Contestable Fund (https://www.eeca.govt.nz/funding-and-support/low-emission-vehicles-contestable-fund/). It’s good to see the subsidy helping to solve the gap in service and EV support, a concern highlighted by many of you in prior surveys.
Multiple information sources help
A large number of comments show that many purchasers consulta wider range of information sources and work systematically through them to make a considered choice – clearly purchase of an expensive and hugely important thing like a car requires considerable homework and is quite a tense process. We think these comments highlight some of the values shared amongst the EV community – letting desire build, weighing up options, waiting until the time is right, making informed decisions, trusting the opinions of good people, yet always needing to discover for oneself (hello test drive!). “We had always been keen on an electric car but thought they were more expensive. A visit to the dealer who specialises in them made us think more about it and he gave us some info to read. Our son in law also had some articles he had read in the ReNew magazine. It all stacked up so we went for a test drive – all we needed to convince us. We are LOVING it!!!!”. A mixture of information for the realist, experience, and knowing there will be ongoing support are all valuable support for EV adoption.
It’s not just a need for information on the EVs – other considerations must fit
Throughout your comments, it was made clear that accessing detailed and trusted information is only part of the decision – several other external criteria must match the purchasers needs and constraints before the EV dream could be realised. Purchase price dropping considerably, fuel prices rising, ability to afford a second car, the need to upgrade an existing car, and building enough confidence in the charging network all factored in to the purchasing decision. Recent completion of a certificate in renewable tech from SIT gave one buyer the confidence that they could handle any maintenance needs. Sometimes the EV information is melded with more general sustainability information sources, so the option to switch to electric comes entirely from sources that are not specifically about cars.
There is increasingly amounts and better information out there
Several early adopters have noticed that information is now more readily available compared to when they took the plunge: “I say Other just because there really wasn’t much usable, findable info on EVs in NZ when we started investigating and bought. It’s much better now”. For one EV team: “International newspapers were our source of information coupled with carbon footprint calculators (online) to see how we could best reduce our family’s carbon footprint”. Others felt comfortable making the switch only when facts and figures became accessible and aligned, purchasing an EV due to: “a combination of increase in information regarding electric vehicles and a decrease in price as they became more available”. Nowadays, the right information put in the right hands at the right time can increase uptake EVeryday!: “On Sunday afternoon I went through the information following many links to other sites and saw a vehicle for sale at a very good price. Just as I was about to leave the site I noticed the firm was local. On Monday I rang them, went and viewed the vehicle and bought it at 10AM”.
Media information streams
The world-wide web has proved invaluable for pooling information, assessing and following global EV markets, and making TradeMe price comparisons from the comfort of home or office. Logging on to Flip the Fleet, accessing sites such as Geekzone (Steve Withers’ content), watching Sam Holford’s guide to buying a Nissan Leaf on github, streaming the Fully Charged show, reading Consumer and ReNew magazine articles online, and bingeing on YouTube were all mentioned as sources of information to finally buy an EV. Films such as “Who Killed the Electric Car?”, “Revenge of the Electric Car”, and “Before the Flood” all sparked a shift to lower-emissions travel, while RadioNZ EV coverage, Tony Seba’s ‘Clean Disruption’ video on YouTube, and the Consumer survey showing Kiwis voted the Leaf as the number 1 reliable car all added to the transition rate. There are a lot of people out there providing valuable information – EVolution is obviously a peoples’ movement.
Discussion and conclusions
Buying any car is an important decision with serious consequences if you get it wrong. Choosing an EV, a whole new type of car, is potentially a doubly fraught process for many people because of several unknowns, the mass of new information involved, conflicting advice and the EVs’ relatively high purchase price. On the other hand, some early adopters were completely confident in their decision to go electric because the ethical imperative to mitigate climate change trumps most of their other concerns. Around half of the current EV owners in New Zealand bought primarily because of the EVs’ green credentials (https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-18/). Sustained EV uptake will depend on convincing the “early majority” to join the “early adopters” to switch to electric. Some of the next tranche of EV purchasers will be naturally more cautious of new technology, have less financial capacity to buy a comparatively expensive car, or may not share the over-riding values motivation of early adopters. There will be an increasing need for clear, reliable and detailed information of a fast-changing technology and the associated national EV support infrastructure to convince the early majority to go electric.
It is encouraging that our survey identified that much more information on EVs is currently available than even just a year ago when some early adopters had to rely more on their own research. Nevertheless, much more work needs to be done to get this information out to prospective buyers. Market research carried out for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) suggests that New Zealanders’ familiarity with EVs is low and has improved only slightly since the survey started in the fourth quarter of 2016 (see Autofile, October 2018, p17; https://autofile.co.nz/magazine). When asked how they would rate their familiarity with EVs, 14% of people replied they knew about them “very well or quite well”. This was for the period from April to June 2018, and compared to 12% between October and December 2016. Similarly, nearly half (42%) of the UK public aren’t sure if you can put an electric vehicle (EV) through a car wash (https://www.goultralow.com/news/press-releases/thats-shocking-brits-underestimate-benefits-switching-pure-electric-car-42-dont-think-can-put-one-car-wash/). And 89% of them don’t know that EVs are faster, much faster, off the line when you put your foot down.
There is a well described ‘Gartner Hype Cycle’ for new technologies of all sorts, which we have framed for the EV case in Fig. 2. Inflated expectations can arise from a natural tendency to build excitement and hope about any new technology, it’s functionality, and how much it can penetrate markets. Some well-meaning “EVangelists” undoubtedly exaggerate the utility and benefits of EVs, perhaps in part to encourage uptake for broader goals like climate change mitigation. Similarly, vested interests in making, distributing, selling and servicing internal combustion vehicles may be reluctant to seek detailed information of a new technology, or deliberately misrepresent EVs by exaggerating their limitations or underplaying their benefits (for example, see http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/…/glib-car-dealers-are…/.). The situation is not helped by lazy and unprofessional ‘research’ by journalists that have key opinion-maker roles in media. When a lot of investments are at stake and uncertainty about a new technology is inevitable, both “sides” tend to escalate a battle of information and persuasion. Citizen science can help the general public to navigate this turbulence. Flip the Fleet is dedicated to (i) accelerating the increase in visibility of EVs, (ii) reducing the “peak of inflated expectations” and (iii) depth of the “trough of disillusionment”, (iv) hastening the onset of the “slope of enlightenment”, so that (v) EVs penetrate further and faster into all aspects of New Zealand’s transport system.
Figure 2: Gartner’s Hype Cycle framed for EV uptake
Many respondents to our survey described a lengthy process of research that drew information together from a wide variety of sources before they finally bought an EV. Obviously, the process has many stages that reinforce each other. The experience of taking a test drive was an ultimate “clincher” for many EV owners – obviously people need to feel comfortable and safe in any car, and the “fun”, easy-to-drive, and comfortable ride provided by EVs is one of their main assets (https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-18/). However, very few purchasers will have got as far as taking an EV for a test drive without first having first encountered and processed a considerable amount of information about the advantages and potential limitations of EVs. Most people first need to have their curiosity piqued and be attracted to the general concept before investing time and effort to research further. Many respondents could not identify a clear single “main” source of information. Also, our categories were not all mutually exclusive. For example, “community events” ranked infrequently as the main source of information, but many such events have offered test drives. This suggests that effective EV uptake campaigns must promote and maintain a wide variety of information sources and to keep them refreshed.
There was no clear “winner” in the main sources of information identified by our respondents, so casting a wide net of communication channels is required to reach the maximum number and type of prospective buyers. On the whole there were only slight differences in the information sources used by different age and gender groups. Women relied more on test drives and men on media and websites. Older owners placed least reliance on websites and social media. Overall, 39% of those owners who declared their age were 60 or more years old, so finding the most effective ways of offering information to this segment of the population is very important for EV uptake. Only members of Flip the Fleet were invited to complete this survey, all of whom regularly use computers and the internet to participate in Flip the Fleet at all. Regular use of computers declines with age, especially from 65 years (http://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/information_technology_and_communications/HouseholdUseofICT_HOTP2012/Commentary.aspx). We hypothesise that the proportion of older people who own EVs is actually higher than indicated by our participation rates in Flip the Fleet surveys like this one. Many older people are receptive to buying EVs and have the financial capacity to buy them, so that targeted campaigns to reach senior citizens could potentially accelerate EV uptake a lot. The current advertisements by Mercury Energy that feature older adventurers are likely to resonate with this segment of the population.
Our survey emphasises huge value in EV Owners groups on Face Book to help prospective and existing owners, but older owners use and trust it less. Facebook use declines sharply with increasing age past 35 years (https://www.statista.com/statistics/681512/new-zealand-facebook-users-by-age/). There is an impressive 4,120 members of the New Zealand EV Owners Group (as of 14 October 2018). Other EV owners will perhaps affiliate only to the more specialised Facebook groups (regional hubs, NZ Leaf Owners, Mitsubishi Outlander owners). As there are approximately 10,000 individual owners in New Zealand, in round terms we can expect that about half to be members of an EV Owners support group using Facebook. Many others consult the pages at their prospecting phase, even if they do not join the group once they have bought an EV. The Facebook interactions enable a type of word-of-mouth exchange in the sense that participants can ask their fellow EV owners quite specific questions about their own situation or needs. The very presence of the EV Facebook groups, and the information they provide, obviously builds the confidence of many prospective buyers. However, it will be important to provide reliable information to a large section of the public whom are less in the habit of consulting social media platforms, or trust it less for reliable information.
Our survey emphasises that uptake of EVs is primarily a social process of raising awareness, evaluation, decision-making and vindication of that decision to buy (assuming it all worked out as expected). This is a common finding when considering enablers and barriers to acceptance of all manner of new ideas and technologies (see Everett Roger’s treatise on Diffusion of Innovations; https://flipthefleet.org/2018/1-click-survey-18/). Having reliable information for informed choice is just one requirement, albeit an important one. Receiving validation of the new technology from peers, trusted informants, family, friends and colleagues is enormously influential, as seen in the prominence of “Word-of-mouth” sources of information in this survey (Fig. 1). Increased visibility of EVs also helps normalises them and builds confidence in their utility i.e. the idea that “if all those other people buy them, they must be good”.
The importance of word-of-mouth and social testimony about EVs is both an opportunity and a risk for EV uptake. The social networks go deep into everyday life and places where formal sources of information cannot so readily penetrate. That’s great when the news is good – but damaging when the news is bad or based on misinformation. The turbulence in the Gartner Hype Cycle (Fig. 2) is extreme because of the trust placed in conventional wisdom or shrill opponents or advocates of EVs. Personalised attacks of opponents undermine trust in the information itself, potentially leading to undue caution or inaction because of confusion.
Flip the Fleet works simply by organising ways of gathering the testimony of the early adopters and spreading it faster and wider to prospective buyers, hopefully in a form and place that is trusted and believed. We have reports of members using the data to convince their friends and associates of the validity of the EV choice, and see instances where the participants are analysing and reporting data from Flip the Fleet in discussions on the Facebook pages (https://flipthefleet.org/2018/how-can-flip-the-fleet-more-effectively-encourage-people-to-buy-evs/). Therefore we are confident that your data are finding their way into ‘face-to-face’ conversations and social media. We are also trying very hard to use your data to give legitimacy to our media releases and encourage editors and reporters to feature the material (https://flipthefleet.org/resources/media-clippings/). This survey suggests that the wider media programmes are starting people on a slower and more in-depth process of research that leads some people to eventually buying an EV. Finally, we are using the data in various formal presentation and discussion group settings (https://flipthefleet.org/resources/presentations/) and displays, trade shows and art shows (https://flipthefleet.org/resources/infographics/).
It’s a slow process that requires patience and persistence to reach and convince newcomers of the value of such a fundamentally different type of car, especially when peoples’ lifestyles have been greatly enhanced by superb ICVs for decades. For this reason, it is important that EV owners continue to contribute information and personalised testimony to other members in their social networks. For some buyers, trust in scientific data will enrich the word-of-mouth conversations. For others, the data will largely be irrelevant. All types of information help build curiosity and confidence to the point where people will take a test drive and confront the decision at a more experiential and emotional level.
The results of this survey offer a tremendous affirmation for many volunteers and professionals from throughout New Zealand that have teamed up to promote EVs in different ways. The Better NZ Trust has offered test drives to thousands of people, organised the national Leading the Charge and International Drive Electric events, provided a useful web page and built a nationwide network of experts and volunteers (http://betternz.org/). ChargeNet NZ is the main provider of the rapid charging infrastructure, but also provides information packs for owners and funds the NZ Electric Vehicle Podcast series https://www.podcasts.nz/nz-ev-podcast/. Many electricity suppliers provide free rapid charging to incentivise uptake. The EV World team have organised spectacular trade shows and gathered expert speakers together from around the world and New Zealand to inform businesses and the public. The Sustainable Business Network promotes smart transport solutions through awards and workshops for business and policy makers (https://sustainable.org.nz/). Drive Electric provides business advice and national commentary to accelerate uptake of EVs by businesses. Mercury and other large corporates are actively promoting EVs beyond the sale of their own services. Victoria Carter (City Hop), Kirsten Corson (YooGo Share) and Erik Zydervelt (Mevo) and their teams are sinking enormous energy into establishing businesses using new models of vehicle ownership. Many empowered dealers have risked a lot and done the hard yards to research and promote EVs – they are pioneer “early adopters” of entirely another sort that have combined business with technical skills. EVolocity has worked brilliantly with school children to promote EVs by innovative means (https://evolocity.co.nz/).
There are far too many individual “EV Champions” working in a voluntary capacity to mention them all here, but a sample provides a glimpse of the individual commitments that have gone to get the EV revolution rolling. ChargeNet’s success and generosity for the EV cause are a testament to the energy and commitment of Dee and Steve West. Sigurd Magnusson has helped thousands of New Zealanders find the salient information about EVs by creating and constantly updating the NZ Electric Car Guide and creating videos (http://www.electricheaven.nz/). Kathryn & Greg Trounson and Sean Dick have led the Better NZ Trust. Oana and Paul Jones have made EV films for Charged As, their own dedicated YouTube channel (http://chargedas.com/). Alan Wilden has provided focussed technical instructional videos to help Leaf owners navigate Japanese dashboards. Innovative experts like Walter Larason from EVs Enhanced have supported technical repairs and patches to get the very best out of imported EVs. Countless leaders have organised displays and workshops and built networks at regional hubs (e.g. Pam McKinlay, Martin Kane, Mark Nixon, Megan Reynolds, Donald Love, Sue Pugmire, Justin Boyd, Margaret Baker, Joe Cumuso) and run local experiments or provided specialist knowledge (e.g. Russell Watson). Roving ambassadors like Steve Withers, Martin Kane and Donald Love tend to show up at any EV event anywhere in the country.
The New Zealand government has provided considerable funds to promote EV demonstration projects and research. There are many policy makers and strategists working at government level to accelerate EV uptake, but it is fair to single out the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) for their facilitation role. They have commission salient research, provided an informative website and business decision-making tools, printed pamphlets and information booklets, and administered the very effective Low Emission Vehicle Contestable Fund.
If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!”. This survey suggests that many, varied and effective sources of information about EVs are flowing successfully and hitting their target audiences. No gaps were identified by the survey respondents. An inspiring collaboration between multiple players and layers is already providing information to diverse prospective owners and making EVs more visible for people to imagine owning one themselves. EVs are increasingly accessible for people to test them and match the capacity of the different models to their own budget and vehicle use requirements. As the demand for EVs escalates, guaranteeing supply of EV is the main remaining large challenge for transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon vehicle fleet – the demand side has now achieved its own momentum in the wider community, but perhaps still has a long way to go within businesses. Information sources will still have to be regularly refreshed to report rapidly improving technology and to keep flowing to displace embedded fixed ideas and habits related to current ICV use. However, the current information sources seem to be broadly trusted, accessible and sufficiently varied in delivery formats to reach diverse types of early adopters. Providing that adequate supply of EVs keeps their cost contained, ramping the demand for EVs amongst new types of investors is now mainly a matter of patience and persistence. Well-established teams of collaborators just now need to keep their independent and authoritative EV information streams flowing at full force.
Your comments in detail:
Below is a lightly edited and re-arranged selection of many of the comments received. There were far too many of them to reproduce them all here, but we figure that we should record as many of them as possible in these blogs so they can be used for later research. They also say it as you see it in such direct terms so we can all get a better idea of the reasons behind all your EV grins.
Information and external factors together solved the EV purchasing puzzle
“I work with a gentleman who has an electric car and through conversation and basing my travel needs against his experiences was able to ascertain that an electric vehicle would save me a considerable amount of money on my daily commute, this coupled with the constant rise in petrol prices and finally the Auckland fuel tax introduction meant purchasing an event was a logical step” • “Husband had been looking into EVs for work procurement and work mate had recently bought one. We needed a new vehicle, petrol prices kept climbing it just made sense to buy an EV” • “I have several friends that own a leaf and with the fuel prices rising it made financial sense to purchase one” • “2 or 3 Yrs ago a MiEV owner I know who had purchased his NZ new often described his satisfaction with his MiEV. 18 Mths ago I was with my son who was looking at petrol cars and found myself at a MVD who had a range of imported EVs. I ended up buying one having checked EVs in general and MiEVs in particular and the cost to run, environmental upside and fun this zippy little car had. Also being low end cost, I did not require wife approval which would have been a barrier” • “Several things lined up – I had had an extensive talk with Alastair Gilmour at the Vogel Street party a couple of years prior, and that made me realize that EV’s were not only practical but also becoming affordable. Then over the next year or so I heard anecdotes from friends and colleagues who had them. But the final decider was sitting down and doing a calculation of how much fuel per year I was using solely for travel within the city” • “After doing a payback analysis, the test driving was quiet (& fun)” • “I had been thinking for some time that my current car would be the last petrol fuelled vehicle that I would own. A test drive of a Nissan Leaf convinced me that an owning an EV was the way to go. I liked the way it performed, especially it’s acceleration when required. Because we sometimes need to drive from Dunedin to Christchurch and back, we delayed the purchase until we believed there were enough fast charging stations to achieve this” • “Throughout 2015 I wanted to purchase a leaf my commute and use are exactly what electric cars are made for. The price was very high new and second hand, it wasn’t till March 2016 that a nz “new”” demonstrator came on the market which I purchased” • “Basically, the commitment of ChargeNet and Vector to fast chargers in Auckland made what EVangelists Dee and Steve west promoted to become feasible; ie: for EV to become a practical and cost effective work vehicle” • “I had been running a 1999 Nissan Pulsar from new. By 2017, although it had served well and was in great condition/preservation, I recognized that it would probably not outlast my wife’s and my driving lifetimes and that we would need to upgrade at some stage, sooner rather than later given our ages (70+) and that we were going to have to learn some new “tricks” as we had always been used to cars with manual gear change. My eldest son had recently bought a BMW i3. We decided a Nissan Leaf 30kWh X, 2016, ex-JDM, was the most affordable option, and we hope it will last us for as long as we need/can use a private car. Beyond this, after doing our “due diligence” research online and elsewhere, we decided the advantages of a BEV for us, the community, the economy and the environment could not be denied” • “I had always expected to buy an EV at some stage if possible having assumed that we were unlikely to see improvements in mass transport systems anytime soon. I kept an eye on what was happening, how the retrofit experiments were going and, what the issues were. I got to drive a friend’s Tesla, and about the same time had access to a family loan at a low interest rate. Finally, I wanted to take advantage of the small window of opportunity with free fast charging in Dunedin and no tax disadvantage for EVs and there was a good selection of Leafs available right at that time” • “One of our cars needed replacing and we just felt that with young children we couldn’t justify buying another fossil fuel car. Alistair Gilmour gave me a test drive and a good sales pitch, and found the model with 6 airbags that we wanted” • “Initial interest sparked by hearing about it from my geeky son-in-law and daughter – he never does anything without thorough research, and I value his opinion highly. I had a very short drive in their Leaf, in a public car park. He joined me up to 3 relevant groups on Facebook, and I learned a lot more. I hesitated to buy because I couldn’t justify a big price differential between a replacement car and my existing one – I travel only 3 – 5 km daily, and only 5 – 6 out-of-town trips/year, but I could see that that is an ideal set-up for a Leaf, especially with an hour of free power daily (Electric Kiwi). It was the technology, low running costs (and fun factor!) that appealed, as much as (if not more than) environmental considerations” • “Reading articles confirming that EVs are a legit option. Also the presence of charging stations helped persuade me to take the leap”
Even with persuasive information, a family hybrid model needs to be viable in order to buy
“I have very pro EV friends in Christchurch who had been nagging me for several years to get an EV. But we were happy with only and single car. Then we had a need for a second car which would only be used as a city car so range wasn’t going to be an issue” • “I had read a lot of favourable media reports about EV’s, so when my wife’s car reached its use by date we test drove a Nissan LEAF and fell in love with it at once. We had a second ICE car, so did not see the travel distance limit as important. It also coincided with moving house, so we were able to fit a dedicated charging plug with a kWh meter to closely monitor running cost. After around 2 years we are even more convinced about how good it is” • “We needed a “second” car. I’d heard about EVs & did a bit of research”
Information that is honest, trustworthy, and direct from the source is powerful
“A friend of mine had bought one and convinced me of all the advantages and the limitations and I felt it suited my needs” • “My son had bought one, just sounded great to me. No petrol no emissions” • “Multiple people – friend, colleague, old-colleague, neighbour – all bought one and raved about it. These first-hand experiences were more powerful than anything I’d read or researched” • “Someone at work had bought one and it made me think about purchasing one for the distance I travel each day” • “Talking to people who already had an EV was the way of confirming all the information gained from many other methods” • “Two friends bought them and talked about them all the time” • “A friend has owned a Nissan Leaf for a year and is very satisfied with it” • “A friend of mine had a Leaf. I was curious about it and the benefits of EVs. Went around and chatted about it. The rest is history as they say” • “Talking to someone you trust can eliminate doubt and gives you reassurance that you are making a good decision. And you know it will work out for your lifestyle” • “A neighbour bought a Leaf, and we helped with charging it initially talked about the climate change implications etc” • “A friend had the 24v version of the leaf – he took me for a drive in it and his enthusiasm convinced me it would be good for our family” • “I had been thinking about it for a while but wasn’t brave enough to buy one. Then within a few months 2 people at work each bought a leaf. Then I could ask questions, especially about whether I could make it to work and back, how to use LeafSpy and Dongle, cables and charging etc. Websites tell you generic stuff which is useful but not convincing when you’re about to spend 20k” • “Heard about a friend of my daughters who had one and commuted some distance each day” • “Good opinion from several workmates was quite convincing. But buying an EV was something I was already interested in” • “I always wanted an electric car purely for environmental reasons. It took word of mouth to eventually persuade my partner who was unconvinced about the logistics and ease of driving, charging, etc.” • “I attended a lecture given by Distinguished Professor Robert McLachlan, of Massey University, on climate change and options for living a low-carbon lifestyle. I commute 140 km per day, and for some time had been conscious of the consequent carbon footprint. He explained how he went about purchasing an electric car, and I thought, I can do that, too!” • “Worked for Craig Salmon. Need I say more?” • “Met Martin Kane at Timaru market; he was showing a Leaf. Talked with him about my concerns, mainly that my idea of EVs was that they were low-powered; Martin told me that they were actually zippier than most ICEVs. Additionally, the fuel economy, lack of emissions and quietness of ride all impressed me so much that I decided to get an EV. Imported one without even having had a test drive” • “Donald Love talked me into it” • “It was Bruce McCallum telling me it was the cheapest car to run that made owning a e-car go from something good for the planet in might do in the future, to an action for a good economic reason. I have done $17,000 km in 11 months in my Zoe. I didn’t even need to go for a ride in a Leaf before I bought one. Bruce and Kate showed me that it worked for them so I immediately knew it would work out for me” • “Dee West happened” • “Heard about workmates with a car and how cheap it was” • “My wife and I were looking to replace the aging people mover minivan now that our boys are approaching their teens. We were considering Prius hybrid so I approached a friend who I knew had purchased one new and was using it for business. While not a big fan of the aesthetics of the Prius the tech under the hood had always intrigued me and my wife was keen to take one for a test drive. My friend gave the Prius a glowing review but also said that they had recently landed a couple Nissan Leaf and would we be keen on having a loan of one for a few days to see if we liked it. The car pretty much suited our needs but we decided after much deliberation that the larger battery was the better option as we have family in Hawkes Bay and would likely take the car down there once or twice a year. We have had the car since January and are really pleased with it. Hopefully in 3 to 4 years there will be a much larger range both new and second hand to choose from and there will be refurbishment options for the ailing batteries in in older cars to provide the lower priced segment of the market to make the change to electric”
The test drive is the clincher; where information meets first-hand experience
“My husband was keen to purchase an EV to minimise commuting costs from our home to Nelson. I made enquiries of EECA staff who came with me when I did a test drive. I bought the vehicle on the spot” • “A friend who is a doctor of physics and who had built his own hybrid electric car booth a Leaf from GVI in Auckland. He gave me a ride and a drive in it and I was sold. I thought they were much dearer than what they had dropped down to” • “Then had a test drive and had to have one. Paid more than I wanted. But certainly no regrets” • “Friends had a Leaf for a few months and I had a test drive. That probably made the difference” • “I borrowed a friends EV to see if it would be suitable for my work commute. And it was!” • “In the process of marketing EVworld, being able to test drive a Nissan Leaf and evaluating the cost savings and environmental impact” • “We’ve since gotten a subscription from EV Drive for a 2018 40kwh Leaf. We love it!” • “Friends purchased a Leaf and we were very interested in the concept. They kept telling us we needed to drive it but we didn’t appreciate just how different (better!) they are to drive. It wasn’t until they went away for a long weekend and lent us their Leaf that it sunk in. The instant torque, the quiet ride, the power when you need it, the lack of exhaust fumes in the garage. What’s not to love? We reluctantly returned the car at the end of the three days and our plan went for buying a Leaf when we were ready to upgrade, to buying one in the next three months” • “I have now given numerous friends, family, and complete strangers rides and/or let them drive my car. I 100% stand by the fact that once you have driven one, it is only a matter of time before you flip” • “seventeen years ago I test drove an electric Honda insight” • “As the better half was in the passenger seat and liked the feeling of the interior, the quiet of the driving experience, the size of the boot and also happy with my comments while testing the EV it became a no brainier to offer to purchase” • “I did a lot of online research about EV’s and was very keen on the idea. However after a test drive I was sold in a few minutes!” • “Was looking at an EV and the test drive of both Ioniq and Leaf gave me the information needed to move ahead” • “Once driven we were smitten” • “I wasn’t aware of the instant power and torque of EVs before the test drive” • “We did a bit of research. Dropped in to Taupo EV and Steve was informative and enthusiastic. The test drive sealed the deal. It alleviated a whole lot of misconceptions” • “Had done lots of online research and loved the concept but the driving experience was a clincher. Smooth, powerful and quiet” • “Had been thinking about it and intellectually knew it was the right thing to do (buy EV) but it wasn’t till I took a test drive and bought my EV the next day” • “Wanted to buy an EV anyway; the test drive reinforced that” • “My understanding of Electric Vehicles was very outdated, but I was in the market for a new car and very conscious about fuel economy. While skimming car dealer fliers I spotted the Leaf and wondered if an EV was a realistic choice. I started reading about the Leaf and then started noticing one parked near my work. I went to the dealer that I first saw the Leaf advertised and after taking it for a test drive I immediately set about establishing how to finance the purchase” • “It was more my wife that needed the test drive. She had had a bad experience of a Prius (hybrid) but was sold on the Leaf as soon as she got behind the wheel” • “I had been looking at conventional hatchbacks, but had seen articles about the massive savings of driving an ev. I went to a dealer, hopped in an ev, was given instructions on how it worked and left alone. Dealer must have left it D, not D eco, because I left the driveway and SHOT down a residential street noiselessly. Brought it back to 50kph, tooled around the corner and was completely sold. Super comfortable interior, totally Zen ride” • “Test drove the Leaf and I got to explore the range and performance of the car and got the understanding that range anxiety is really hype and a fear for the uninitiated” • “I’m answering for my family actually. I was sold on the concept for a lot of reasons, but mainly the climate change remedy angle. But my wife was extremely sceptical. The test drive, kindly offered by a local EV family, was the clincher for her. The family with the EV also drove all the way out to our second home to show us that the trip was easily manageable – we use the car a lot to go there, so the acid test was whether it would do it comfortably…. thankfully it did. So the early adopters have been amazing, and the leading the Charge and Better NZ Trust have done a superb job. At times I think their job is done – the demand side has a natural momentum now. The real challenges are in the EV supply side and that will take some active intervention from government to encourage the OEMs to bring the cars to our small market” • “In 1998 I drove the EV 1, Ford Ranger Pick-Up EV and Toyota RAV-4 EV and was totally blown away by the performance but more importantly the potential for disruption. I understood the environmental, economic and geo-political ramifications if we were able to generate our transportation fuel locally and without a complex refinery processes. EVs have the potential to disrupt the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC). EVs are a threat to Oil Companies and the MIC that has influenced most of the 1st world geopolitical decisions since WW1” • “My husband started researching EVs as we were in the market for a new car. I was sceptical and had the same concerns as everyone when changing over – range, cost to charge, how to do long trips etc. Then a friend bought one and she helped answer all my questions and but my mind at ease. Took one for a test drive and loved it. Finally purchased January 2018 and LOVE IT!!!! Would never go back!” • “I didn’t think I would ever buy a Leaf and thought I’d have to wait a few more years for an affordable second hand Egolf or a secondhand Tesla model 3 with enough range. I decided to test drive a Leaf expecting a bit of a “Nanas” car but after test driving one, I had purchased a 30kWh one within the week. Love it (apart from the 30kWh LBH scare)” • “I drove a Tesla in 2015 in USA. When I found a 2011 Nissan Leaf in Japan cheap I decided to purchase. Very happy wish I had paid a little more money and purchased a later model” • “But what really did it for me was a test drive. WOW, WOW and more WOW. I then didn’t have the money and had to save up a bit as I don’t finance cars, it’s cash all the way for me. So after about 9 months of saving, I then took my car in to see what trade I would get. It was tight and left me only couple thousand in my account but I did it. I took the plunge and been very happy ever since. Further note – this is my only car. I thought long and hard about if it was the right decision. Hence the reason I went with a 30 kwh Leaf for that extra range” • “My last car was failing and I was spending up to 2 hours burning fuel on the North-Western Parking Lot (motorway) every day. So I had started researching hybrids, looking for a car that I could fit, to replace the petrol car with something that at least would not be burning fuel below 30kph. I struggled to find a car I could fit. Then, when things came to a head, i.e. my car failed its WOF and was going to take $10,000 to fix a $400 car, I found a car yard that sold all electrics (Autolink cars), found I fitted the LEAF, and took it for a test-drive. The hybrid options were not even in the running after that” • “I drove a Tesla – Enough Said?” • “I read “Don’t Even Think About It” by George Marshall. I had known about climate change since the early 1970s, being blessed with a NZ education. But like most people, I didn’t act on what I knew. After reading Marshall’s book though, we stopped flying, started using the coach rather than the petrol car for holidays, put up solar panels and got rid of the gas cooker and heating. I became very anxious about burning fossil fuel in the car and began to investigate electric cars. I can’t recall how I discovered that I could afford a second-hand Nissan Leaf – possibly through TradeMe motors, but I must have read an article about them, to have even been looking. At the time, like most people, I thought they were extremely expensive…Eventually I phoned a local dealer for some more information and finally took my partner with me for a test drive. We were fairly committed at that point, but the test drive removed any doubts. I do recommend test drives to friends who are trying to convince a partner to go electric”
There is information and experience flowing between business and employees
“I convinced the company fleet purchaser to try an EV” • “My son was driving EVs at work at Meridian Energy and recommended them” • “My brother got his work place to get EVs for their day cars and he brought one to my place and took me for a ride” • “Local lines company had a Leaf which they loaned out to customers to try. My wife and I had it for an hour and was hooked” • “I wanted to set an example in my workplace (an environmental science organisation) by being the first to take up commuting in an EV. Subsequently, there are three or four others driving Leafs to work” • “I was driving the first Leaf taxi in Whangarei for Joe Camuso (superstar) and fell in love with it”
EVs fit with the tech geeks, who have been collating information for years
“The fascination with electric transportation started early in my childhood in Switzerland (70 – 80s) with Trains, Trams, Trolley busses and small electric delivery vehicles from the Post….My Dad took us to Zermatt for a skiing holiday and found that they only allowed EVs in their village due to the narrow streets – the little electric vehicles where equipped with little bells so people could hear them coming – it was fun to get up higher in the mountains to hear all the bells below” • “I’ve always had a fascination with electric propulsion. When I was a kid I owned electric RC cars, and except for endurance they always made much more sense than their gas counterparts. Now, as an Engineer they are a no-brainer in every respect” • “I have always had an interest in electric vehicles. 15 years ago I was going to convert a conventional car to electric” • “I had a longstanding interest in electric vehicle technology and had considered building my own. I had owned an electric scooter for several years. So, when my wife’s petrol car needed to be sold, I decided to go for an electric replacement” • “I am an electronics engineer. I bought a Lexus hybrid (GS450h) back in 2006 because I was fascinated by the hybrid technology for improving energy efficiency as well as providing excellent performance. I still have that vehicle but have kept abreast of EV development from a professional viewpoint. In late 2016, the combination of availability and means came together so that I could purchase a brand-new EV (LEAF TEKNA) at a great price. The ROI of EV ownership in this case was fantastic” • “Wanted to be involved. Nothing worse than a tech geek being left behind others!” • “I’ve always been interested in non-fossil fuelled transport (Film: “Who killed the electric car?”, the Indian compressed air car etc.) So, it was my own research into the new models available and the fact that the Nissan Leaf won the prize for most economic car and then the release of the 30Kw/h model which made me decide that the time was right to buy one” • “A life-long interest in all things electrical and they finally got to a price point that I could afford” • “I do on-going research into transport technology as part of my work and had been following EV development over the last few years – so had built knowledge of and interest in buying an EV over time” • “I have had no reason to regret my impulsive behaviour as everything pointed to it happening just at the right moment, I have been an environmentalist for decades, having had the first commercially built home computer in the Waikato, and have pioneered many advances in my professional life”
Whānau are information and experience banks we gravitate toward, respect, and trust
“My biggest inspiration when it comes to alternative technology are my two uncles.
Klaus in Canada has been into alternative energy since the 60s and designed the ‘helix’ turbine. Ueli in New Zealand is into solar energy and converted an ICE car to BEV” • “My uncle has a Leaf and gave me the confidence that they could travel the distance I required” • “Family member also has an EV” • “I have a brother in law who imports and sells EVs” • “Family members purchased and was able to test drive and ask questions” • “Mark inspired Bruce to buy a Leaf (they are the Pioneers), Bruce persuaded me (an early adopter), my brother-in-law bought our Leaf when we bought a Zoe (following Bruce and Mark again), my sister realised it was the ideal car for her commute, then nephew and next brother-in-law invested this year in Leafs (going mainstream)” • “I think the horrid modern word for this chain of inspiration is that e-cars became “socialized” in our whanua” • “Well I don’t know who started it but my ‘brother in law’ has had one for ages so we have often discussed it. I gave my old car to my son and had to buy something and I never considered anything else, also my friend had bought one and I took it for a drive” • “My sister bought an EV – we had been thinking about it and some of her further research sealed the deal” • “On a trip to California I stayed with my sister and brother in law who owned a Nissan Leaf which I drove” • “Mum had a leaf and I drive it a few times” • “I had been thinking for a year or two that I would make my next car an ev. We are a two car family and it seemed a no brainer to make one of them an EV. My sister (much braver than me as she is a one car family living in Wanaka so doing quite a lot of kms and driving to Dunedin fairly regularly) bought a 30kWh leaf in late 2017 and when I visited her at Christmas she offered me a test drive. While the car was even more ugly in person, the test drive, and the information she told me about day-to-day use of the car, convinced me that we would buy one soon” • “
My son in USA bought a Leaf and when visiting him we discussed it and drove it” • “A long time ago, my engineer father taught me to always use the best tool for the job, where ‘best’ can mean many things: to hire or to buy, if buying, then meaning build quality, value for money long term, efficiency, reliability, suitability for the context, and pleasure from ownership and availability whenever needed” • “My youngest son bought one, then my eldest son bought one, as a father I could not stay behind and not join them and finally the son of my eldest son got one too. It has been a family thing to do our bit for the environment”
Collecting information from various sources seems a strategy to relieve any doubts
“It was really a combination of us doing our own research online and talking to a friend who has purchased an EV” • “A friend of mine bought one and I quizzed him relentlessly then did some online research before I took the plunge” • “Received extensive information regarding EVs from my brother who was selling them. A test drive clinched the deal” • “A friend had converted an ICE car to battery powered and offered to help me do the same. He lent me a book. I knew I didn’t have the time to devote to that but it sparked my interest. Then I started reading articles on production EVs, and about a year later decided to buy a Leaf” • “My ICE car was stuffed and I was visiting a friend in another city who had one, they raved about it and gave me a drive, hooked from then” • “A guy I work with asked me to wire in a EVSE unit for his new 2nd hand leaf. After talking to him I couldn’t see any negatives for me to buy one…so after three weeks and lots of research, I bought mine” • “I was looking for a family sized hybrid vehicle. The Prius was unsuitable for our family’s needs. A friend had a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV that he had been very satisfied with for the last three years /100k. Talking to him and test driving one convinced me to buy” • “Needed new car. Thought about a hybrid but knew people with EVs. Did a lot of reading and enquiringly and the fully electric made the most sense for my requirements” • “I wanted to get an electric car for some time and managed to convince my partner to take one for a drive – a guy from a Facebook group let us drive his – and we were both sold” • “Actually, ALL of the factors listed were important to the decision to join the small ranks of EV owners” • “I had done some research online to understand the benefits before test driving several vehicles (Leaf, i3, Zoe). The experience of driving made me commit – the ease of driving, acceleration, quietness, sense of not contributing to carbon emissions, size of car was what I was looking for (looking to downsize as I was now not having to transport carful of kids around). Looking at the Plug Share app also gave me confidence that the network of charge points was adequate to be able to take the car out of Auckland on trips (although I anticipated primary use was around town). Discussion with sales person also highlighted the significant reduction in moving parts in EV motor and potential for reduced maintenance requirements / costs. I ended up buying a Leaf as the pricing was more in line with what I wanted to pay plus seat heaters came as standard!!” • “Of course, before I took the step of going to a dealer for a test drive, I had been influenced by what I had read in newspapers, and then by people who I contacted who I thought would be knowledgeable, including current owners of EVs. And I was lucky enough to receive a bequest that meant the money for purchase didn’t feel like it was coming out of my own savings. But the test drive was the deal-breaker – so fast, so smooth, so fume-free! And so much fun. I never enjoyed driving an ICV this much” • “Media publicity led me to check out various websites, first to establish the economic value and also the unknown factors such as battery life, vehicle support in NZ etc” • “We had always been keen on an electric car but thought they were more expensive. A visit to the dealer who specialises in them made us think more about it and he gave us some info to read. Our son in law also had some articles he had read in the ReNew magazine. It all stacked up so we went for a test drive – all we needed to convince us. We are LOVING it!!!!” • “EVs seemed to be coming of age, Steve Withers had started a thread on Geekzone singing the praises of the Nissan Leaf he owned and then I took advantage of a test drive at last year’s Leading the Charge event in Auckland. The test drive dispelled any doubts I had around performance so I started looking on TradeMe” • “Over 12 Months of extensive research in 2014 and 2015 on mostly YouTube convinced me to buy my June 2012 Leaf in November 2015. I had accumulated so much information the Guy I purchased the car from said I knew more about it than he did, at the time. 2 other dealers offered me a job but I said I couldn’t handle the pay cut 🙂 . Anyway. I join the NZ EV owners group about 7 months before I got the car, just after I purchased my E-Bike. (It’s an EV after all). I just sat back and observed the posts. I watched every online episode of Fully Charged and watched lectures on EVs from universities all over the world. And everything that was going wrong with my petrol car was something an EV wouldn’t experience so it was really a no brainer. I hate the whole oil industry, from the sucking it out of the ground to the refining and transporting and storing and pumping and the burning. Wars have been fort over it and thousands of people have died and continue to die. No one has ever gone to war over the wind or the sun or hydro (except maybe the dam protestors in the 70s, who now all own EVs and think the clean power is great). But most importantly, I got the car because it’s Clean, it’s efficient and it runs on 100% NZ made 80+% clean Electricity. Plus I am a bit of a Tech Geek. 🙂 Is that enough?” • “It was quite an accumulation of things, but the largest was the reading I did on the web (many sites), so I picked the website (singular) option as the closest fit. Other sources were: a long-standing admiration for the Toyota Prius’s elegant use of a torque mixer, as a sort of ‘gateway’ into electric propulsion; word of mouth, where a friend pointed out how quick DC quick charging actually is, which I’d previously failed to grasp; a community event where I got answers to fill some obscure gaps in my knowledge; and, last and least, a test drive to see if there was anything disastrously off-putting about driving a Leaf” • “Test drive and good chat with current owner” • “I was well aware of electric cars, and talked to friends about what model to get. They said get the latest, which was a 30kw leaf. Biking to work occasionally made me want to get an EV, as the emissions of other vehicles are not just CO2 but other stinky emissions that cyclists don’t appreciate checked out what everyone was saying and just read up as much as I could until i was ready to buy and then went for test drives to confirm it was what i wanted” • “Have always had our eye on Elon Musk and our ultimate aim (when finances permit) is to buy a Tesla. Was planning to buy an EV for my 60th birthday but couldn’t wait 5 years so did some research on the Nissan Leafs + have never looked back, just love it and more so now that it has had the software update and I get 3 return trips to work, plus the 12th bar back, very happy” • “I don’t recall one event or one person that persuaded me. I am very active in the Climate Action community and have offset my carbon emissions from flying in the past. I was aware that some of my friends had EVs and my resolve to buy one strengthened. I am grateful to Alistair Gilmour for his expertise in answering my questions and being supportive during the process of my buying the car” • “I think knowing (of) other people who were successfully enjoying EVs as commuter cars was a key factor. Also, my brother had owned a PHEV for years and commuted in it as if it were fully electric. Also, the presentations of Tony Seba (in person and online) and the films Who Killed the Electric Car and Revenge of the Electric Car” • “Originally we saw a Nissan Leaf at an expo in the UK then we drove in one when visiting friends in Sweden. As our second car was due for replacement we looked on TradeMe, visited car yards between Invercargill and Christchurch chatting to sales people and found a good deal in Gore and purchased” • “The rationale for buying an electric car was built up from many sources, all important but none seem more important than any others. We have had a long standing interest in solar electric. There was media chat about electric cars. A colleague at work has a Nissan Leaf. A colleague of my daughter’s has a Nissan Leaf (and frustration over its range). The science behind global warming and the push to move away from fossil fuel use has become stronger. A local man set up a taxi service based on electric vehicles and a huge solar electric system. This was reported in the local paper. I rang him and he talked about what he’d done. Hyundai promotion for the Ioniq claimed a range of over 200km at a price that was within range. Then the websites on electric vehicles and the charging network provided supporting information” • “A friend has owned a LEAF for a few years with no trouble. And the various EV groups on Facebook & Sam’s info page helped with making decisions about what to look for. So yes word of mouth, online & social media helped us make our decision, but we had already decided it was what we needed to do for the future of NZ/Earth” • “My cousin bought a Tesla and it got us interested. I hated our gas-guzzling Mercedes and especially going up long hills and losing all that potential energy. I liked the idea of regenerative braking. So when the affordable Leaf came out, we researched options then bought” • “Started looking at $10,000 Leafs – but reduced range and other aspects of Gen 1.1 didn’t do it for me, then had a brief ride in a Leaf (probably Gen 1.2) which impressed me, so I started doing a little more research” • “I had many conversations with a friend who told me she had built up a lot of information so I asked her to send it to me. Some eight weeks later the information arrived on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon I went through the information following many links to other sites and saw a vehicle for sale at a very good price. Just as I was about to leave the site I noticed the firm was local. On Monday I rang them, went and viewed the vehicle and bought it at 10AM” • “It was a combination of things (thus “other”): the facebook community’s questions & comments, the news letter explaining EVs, NZ’s fleet size and costs and such, the warm reception from GVI – test drive & chat, the cost analysis on savings of petrol vs increase in electric bill AND higher cost of EV vs used ICE, the many websites about the details of owning an EV in NZ. Thus, not an “easy” answer” • “One day about 4 years ago I saw a generation 1 standing near the Salvation Army in Palmerston North , I had a look. Shortly after a lady went to the car and I asked how this car drives and she said that it was a wonderful. She drove away, the acceleration left me gob smacked. This thing was fast. Ever since that time I looked for one and did a lot of research until I bought one in December 2016. My car ended up being a Gen2 British made Nissan Leaf Accenta (30kWh) with only 16km on it” • “
Some trust what’s on the internet, others don’t
“It was a combination of a large amount of research, primarily using Internet websites, that lead to us deciding to purchase an EV” • “I found it difficult to get accurate information online about EVs. Lots of misinformation and rumours. Talking to experienced dealer and taking drive made me take the plunge” • “Did research online and couldn’t see a reason why should buy an EV. The technology and green aspects appealed to me. That was 2 years ago and I have no regret and there are now 5 leafs in my department of 40 people” • “Needing to replace our 11 year old car, we looked around to see whether services and technology had moved on such that maybe buying wasn’t’ the answer – maybe we could hire a driverless one! We quickly discovered the market hadn’t yet got to that point, so we knew we wanted to buy a hands-on car, but did find the EV was likely the market shift where we wanted to go. Websites, and particularly Geekzone were helpful” • “Researched the decision online extensively before deciding to buy” • “I liked the idea of reducing my carbon footprint, so did lots of research online before committing to buy a nissan leaf” • “I searched the web for information on websites about EVs when the option came to change vehicles” • “I did a lot of research into EVs before I bought one. Most of this was done online. I looked at models, TCO, emissions on a Well to Wheel basis, range, my own use case, recycling options for batteries – you name it, I analysed it. This went on for about a year and then one morning I woke up and realised I was in a state of paralysis by analysis, so I went to the dealer that day and put down a deposit on a vehicle that was still on the boat. By that stage I knew exactly what I was getting and had no need to see the actual vehicle before I bought it. I’ve never looked back!” • “I researched a number of web sites about electric cars. I was always interested in electric vehicles, particularly after experiencing a Tesla. I was convinced that electric vehicles were the best choice for the environment, despite the extra up front cost!” • “Was thinking about how to get to work as cheaply as possible, then did some research into fuel efficient cars, then started looking into EVs…. Then looked at range then looked for specific models 30kwh leafs!” • “I did extensive research using several sources including YouTube and websites on google”
TradeMe for price analysis, comparison and purchase
Wanted cheap to run car. Searched TradeMe for EVs. Only a couple of Leaf for sale. Bit of internet checking for reliability. Imported from Japan” • “Was looking for economical hatchbacks on Trademe for my new 30km commute and the Leaf popped up at much lower price point than I expected. Looking at other websites with specs and reviews convinced me it was the car for me. Only further reinforced by talking to another owner and taking a test drive” • “I was super keen on a low cost vehicle that is good for the planet so I didn’t really need much persuading. I just did research online and got weekly emails on TradeMe until I found a leaf I was happy with that was in my price range” • “We did some research on Trade me and other sites then found one in Dunedin” • “Hated the cost of fuel and had multiple LPG cars and a Prius to reduce running costs. Had researched converting a car to electric and then starting following sales of Leafs on TradeMe. This lead me to importing our own Leaf from Japan 2.5 years ago”
Social media – word of mouth made digital
“Facebook pages where could ask questions and read about other’s experiences” • “Hooking into Facebook groups came after the purchase but was extremely useful after we’d already committed ourselves to buying an EV” • “Before reading about them in Consumer I thought they were too expensive for me to afford. Once I decided it was an option I joined the NZ EV Facebook page which also supplied a lot of knowledge to help with the buying decision” • “Reading online about other people’s experience (and things like the EV guide) helped make up my mind” • “had already done some research and joined some Facebook groups as I was interested in getting an EV” • “I thought it would be good to buy an EV for ecological reasons, so I joined FB group NZ EV and Wellington EV, and was able to think aloud and get answers to all the questions I had” • “Was a member of EV facebook groups, which helped me to understand more about them, and in particular, the financial savings of owning an EV. I also felt that I had an increased understanding of the negative sides of owning an EV too” • “Mostly Facebook, but also talking to like-minded friends” • “NZ EV specific fb pages gave me a very good insight to the local scene and answered newbie questions” • “I wanted for environmental impact and was nervous about the real world application. So Facebook conversations gave me confidence” • “I spent a few months observing the discussions on the NZ EV Facebook group which gave me a familiarity with the issues associated with owning a Leaf which gave me the confidence to go ahead and buy one. The overall driver was climate change (which I knew about via a wide range of sources over a long time) and the need to travel further than was practicable by (e-)bike” • “Old ICE end of life; Facebook group member had one for sale. Wife loved it. Bought….I stalked people charging at a fast charger and asked them loads of questions. I joined EV facebook groups and watched and learned from everyone that already had EV. Seen if they had any problems or issues, likes and dislikes” • “I also joined the Facebook NZ Leaf owners group and NZ EV owners group which was very helpful” • “I joined several EV (general) and Leaf (specific) owners groups to learn about life with an EV. There were many questions asked by other new and prospective owners which informed my buying. I do wish however I’d listened to advice to arm myself with a LeafSpy-compatible OBDII adaptor and the app before buying though. I’d skipped that because of uncertainty about ordering a compatible dongle” • “the Facebook groups were invaluable”
Films, shows, videos, radio interviews and print media have all presented persuasive information
“I bought a Gen 1 Leaf in January 2016. I had been following EV development for years, including “Who killed the electric car?” documentary from 2007. Was waiting for the cost of EVs to come down, and for more fast chargers to come. Absolutely no help from the National govt shame on them” • “Watched the fully charged show” • “Read Sam’s leaf buying guide. Gave me confidence and understanding of what to look for in a secondhand leaf” • “Our purchase was quite a rushed affair. Our 22 year old car failed it’s WOF just before Christmas and needed to be off the road for quite some time, so a snap decision was made. So we invested in something to save us money and the environment. I think that the main things that tipped the balance were a YouTube video of a Canadian guy who’d had a leaf for ages and pointed out all the benefits. Then there was the Sam Holford (?) guide to buying a leaf. We reasoned we could always sell it again if it didn’t work out for us” • “Person on forum I read posted his experiences regularly and what he said made sense
“Sam’s leaf guide” on github helped me understand the different models and features. This gave me the confidence to buy from an auction in Japan” • “YouTube. I saw videos of my Ioniq in action, with so detailing of every little component, driving and setup functions that a visit to the dealer wasn’t necessary. I knew I wanted one, so hunted one done and purchased it outright. No regrets 🙂 ” • “Particularly car dealers sites” • “My 2002 BMW kept needing repairs every few months ($1000+ every time). I wished that I just had a reliable car for a change. The very next day I read an article where Kiwis had voted the Leaf as the number 1 reliable car from the Consumer survey. That got the ball rolling” • “I had been wanting to buy one and then they were advertised at a good price in the paper. I don’t know that the paper persuaded me to buy – I had already persuaded myself – but the advert was the final thing” • “I was interested in buying an EV for all the usual reasons. I heard an interview on RNZ National and it demystified things for me in ways that I was able to use to convince my wife that we needed a Leaf. We were in the market and thinking about it but the radio piece was a clincher” • “I read a lot about EVs in the media and it became clear that EVs were a real viable option for me- not just some out there concept. Then I heard a radio ad for a local car yard offering people a drive- and once I’d driven one the decision was made” • “I read the motoring press which usually has a few articles about EV’s, and surf the net looking for reviews of EV’s. The favourable reviews were what mainly convinced me” • “I had been hearing a little about EVs on RadioNZ, reading about them online and in newspapers” • “I’m slightly “green” and concerned about the fuel burning and emissions….”Before The Flood” tipped the scales” • “As far as I can remember I’ve hated cars for the air pollution they cause, since the early 2000 I am aware of the threat of global warming and I’ve seen electric cars as a solution for a more sustainable future since I read an article about Elon Musk in “Wired” more than 10 years ago. Since then I’ve been waiting for an affordable long range model to be available” • “In 2007 I saw the Tesla Roadster on TV and was blown away by the speed and look of the car. It was then I caught the bug to build my own and after finding a local EV conversion by Gavin Shoebridge, I spent hours designing and pricing a build. Fast forward 8 years later used Nissan Leafs became available and the price to buy vs build was cheaper so I purchased a 2011 G Spec in 2016” • “I was thinking of buying a Leaf and found Sam’s NZ Leaf buyers guide which gave me most of my info” • “Gathered & considered all the info – then made an informed decision”
Car dealers – varied level of knowledge but for the most part very helpful
“I had been talking with the owner of a local car sales about the Nissan Leaf and whether they intended to import any he said if I was interested they would and that’s what happened” • “Dealer was a great source of information” • “We had an EV car for several days lent to us by a dealer. The car performs really well on windy roads and hills. It works really well for our day to day driving” • “Steve Greenwood from Drive EV in Taupo lent us a Leaf for a weekend. The driving experience, the ease of use and the glow of satisfaction convinced us this was the car for us even though we had to radically change our home self – power system to be able to charge it” • “Well we were looking for a new car and my wife suggested looking at something environmentally friendly. Went to a car yard and tried a Leaf and were suitably impressed, so found one and bought it” • “A test drive with Steve Greenwood in Taupo convinced us that making the change was possible immediately, so we did” • “I hired a Leaf for 3 days to experience driving, garaging and charging an EV. Both my wife & I were able to drive the vehicle over the 3 days and become convinced that this vehicle would suit our requirements. After visiting an EV dealer, we saw the different models of Nissan van available and decided on this vehicle. Previously we had owned a Mitsi Delica van and the env-200 compared favourably” • “Went to a dealer to have a look. The test drive blew me away” • “That the Zoe now had the range to do the trip between home and our batch. And was available and affordable from a dealer who people spoke well of” • “I happened to be getting my Diesel serviced, and on the walk from the garage to the train station for my commute to town I saw, right next door, premises with electric cars parked inside, but no signage. Dropped back the following Saturday to find it was GVI setting up shop in Wellington. I get a good talk about the cars, and was taken out to drive one, very foreign, and yet very cool. I spent the rest of the afternoon looking elsewhere, Coventry Cars (more expensive and very ‘car salesman’ like). I rang GVI back on Tuesday to find out more about the car I had driven, a 2016 30kWh model, same price as the 2014 24 kWh Leafs at Coventry for example. I was getting more used to the price, and liked the minimal fuel and servicing costs, and my use case was a return trip to Waikanae without recharging (about 130km). When they dropped a grand off the price it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. And I picked the car up on the Friday” • “Visiting a dealer, hearing about them from him and seeing one in person did it” • “The car we used for commuting was reaching its end of life and we were already thinking that an EV would be a good fit. The car dealer we trust just had received some Gen 2 Leafs, we tried one and decided to buy it as it was a demo car and had only 9,000 km” • “[bought] from a car dealer in Wellington that didn’t know anything about them” • “I went to GVI who explained all about the LEAF, we went for a drive and it felt nice to drive. There are a few things I don’t like such as the cruise control needs to be turned on every trip and the range is a little limiting but Daniel there convinced us an EV was the right type of vehicle to replace our older car and the leaf was the only model that fitted our budget. I then spent the next 3 weeks extensively reading and watching informative YouTube videos. But ultimately it was the experience of visiting a knowledgeable dealer, seeing cars in person, driving one and listening to his knowledge and reasons to go electric”
EV was a soak up for excess solar power, and part of the ‘going green’ information gathering process
“The background was that my solar panel array was producing more power than we needed and the export rates paid by the power companies is pitiful so I was looking for something useful to do with that power” • “I was interested in ways to use surplus power from our PV panels. Googled various options and also downloaded a Leaf drivers manual which I actually read several time before purchase” • “I installed a PV system on the house and soon discovered that the system was providing more power than we could absorb. To help utilise this I thought an EV would be the answer” • “Financially the time was right to trade up the car and I wanted to make better “self consumption” of my PV generation” • “I also have 10 KW of solar panels with 2 10KW lithium battery packs” • “the fact that I already have solar on my roof, so most of my “fuel” is free: running on sunshine” • “I had a plan. My plan was to move as far away from fossil fuels and as close to a renewable energy lifestyle asap. I spent half of my honeymoon in the US in gas lines during the big shortage of 1973. That kind of scary dependence was a wakeup call for me. In the late 1990’s my partner and I bought a solar hot water heating panel through the government funded interest free loan scheme. Brilliant! In 2011, when I came into a bit of money, I had a 6000kwh, 20 PV panel solar system installed. Brilliant! The last piece of my renewable energy plan was the EV. I had to wait until I retired and turned 65 in 2017 and cashed in my Kiwi Saver to put this last piece of the renewable energy puzzle in place. So, it was really my desire to be more energy independent and my will to do my own research and be financially strategic that led me to my EV purchase. Extra Brilliant!” • “I wanted to support green initiatives, and with PV panels on my roof, it seemed the next logical step” • “Community driven, been leading a green life for a while” • “was looking to reduce carbon footprint so did research on solar panels, EVs, Tesla etc and settled on a Leaf after putting deposit down for a Model 3 then realising that would be 2-3 years away from reaching NZ shores” • “Didn’t need to be ‘persuaded’; it was always on my plan after getting solar panels” • “In our case, it was not what “persuaded you to by”, but when and the type of vehicle that would suit our needs. Current EV range limitations due to vehicle batteries means that we opted for a hybrid. We do not need a vehicle for daily commuting as we bike week days” • “We had already performed our own research regarding electric vehicles years ago and actually wanted our first car in NZ to be an EV, but back in 2013 the only available model was a Holden Volt for $80k, and there was almost no charging infrastructure in place. So we went with a petrol hybrid (Toyota Prius C) that we leased for just four years, to wait and see how EV technology developed, before finally getting our first EV about a year ago. So we’ve always wanted one, and there was no single event or source that convinced us to get one” • “We didn’t need to be persuaded. We knew that switching to electric was the only sustainable decision for our next vehicle purchase”
Rented an EV to experiment, and bought one soon after!
“I had read about the Nissan LEAF being dropped by Nissan NZ as a new car and did not even know there were electric vehicles in NZ. I decided to investigate as I liked the sound of the zero emissions and quietness and the move away from the expense of petrol. Did some Googling and discovered Blue Cars in Auckland and booked a car to drive for a day and a half. That convinced me that I needed to get one as I just loved the experience. I then decided to purchase one in the UK and ship it to NZ. Love story ever since” • “I hired a Leaf on a visit to Christchurch for the weekend. Loved it” • “We were interested in EVs and decided to hire one as a rental car rather than and ICE rental. We liked the driving experience so this was a factor in our decision to purchase an EV. The key reason however was the cost savings on petrol” • “My partner and I have been following EVs for many years, but had never driven one. This July, we hired a Tesla Model S to drive from Auckland to Paihia to take his dad, who is sharp as a tack and interested in this sort of thing, for a ride on his 86th birthday. We had an absolute blast. We’d been thinking of selling our ICE machine and getting into an EV, but the Tesla test drive certainly accelerated our decision”
Innovators had to take the risk, go off international experience, and make it happen!
“I say Other just because there really wasn’t much usable, findable info on EVs in NZ when we started investigating and bought. It’s much better now” • “Through 2015 I was following British Leaf users to form my opinion all I had to do is wait for a Leaf in my price range of 30k” • “There wasn’t any TV advertising at the time” • “I researched online, and in early 2016 that was a lot harder than it is now. I found one UK review, and learned the term “range anxiety” • “I started looking into electric cars but there was not much information available in early 2015. However, I found an interesting video by Sigurd Magnusson describing his first excursion over the Rimutakas from the Hutt Valley. At this point I determined that I wanted a test drive. The only dealer I could find was in Auckland, whereas I live in Napier. So, when we took our mobile home for a holiday trip to Auckland and points north I stopped at the dealer to see the cars first hand and to ask for a test drive. The Nissan Leaf was really great and very much exceeded my expectations. In fact, we were away so long that the dealer was getting a bit worried about what had happened! The rest is history. We bought one of the Leafs and the dealer shipped it to Napier for us. My purchase was about the 1000th EV registered in NZ” • “I purchased my vehicle nearly three years ago before the “rush”. I worked out thru reading and the internet, using the experiences of UK drivers in particular convincing me I wanted 1, so I waited throughout 2015 for a reasonably priced vehicle at the start of 2016 I purchased an NZ “New” vehicle with demo kms. I then watched the price rapidly deflate throughout that year. Although I paid a ransom for the leaf it’s still the best move I ever made”
Flip the Fleet has proven useful for spreading the word
“We researched information on Nissan Leafs and a website answered all our questions on battery health, how to charge, which kind of plug to get etc. Sorry I can’t remember which websites, it was probably 2 or 3 including Flip the Fleet” • “Firmware write ups including Flip the Fleet” • “Wanted green technology, heard more about vehicles on RadioNZ and papers including Flip the Fleet, became more affordable and more infrastructure and test driving Leaf clinched the deal” • “The ODT had an article about Flip the Fleet which gave me reassurance of a supportive community of EV owners”
Community events – EV information heaven!
“My interest started at a community event” • “I thought the Leaf was a tiny “toy car” until I drove one. That completely changed my perspective. This happened on Leading The Charge in Dunedin in 2016. We bought our Leaf shortly after that” • “North Shore Event Centre went in e-200 then Model X jump seats then drove the Leaf. Hey it is just like a normal car but quiet. Later the boss let me drive the company model and realised why a Leaf is a poor man’s Tesla. Less power but similar driving experience. Sold the ICE and got the Leaf” • “There was a demonstration of electric cars at Forsyth Barr stadium car park. I had heard about electric cars and that the Lithium Ion battery was now so much more efficient. I went for a test drive in a Leaf liked the car and persuaded my wife also to consider buying one. The next was a visit to Autocourt and the rest is history” • “I attended an EV event at the University of Canterbury. I have a strong conservationist bent, and have been impressed by the development of battery technology. When my petrol car became expensive I decided to buy an EV” • “Talked to two people at Martinborough Fair and one of them took us for a test drive in a Nissan Leaf. We were impressed by their enthusiasm for EVs, low running costs and handling/performance” • “I attended an EV public event at The Dowse. There were many EVs and their owners, all willing to talk about their cars and I had a test drive. There was also a EV car sales company that I ended up buying my car from. It was this event that convinced me that an EV was right for me. Mainly it was talking to people who actually owned, drove and charged them that gave me the chance to get all my questions answered” • “I had a test drive at a community event here in Tauranga, demonstrating EVs. I had already been quite keen however, out of environmental concerns” • “A demo day by locals at Wanaka Airport and a test drive with Morgan Knoesen had me hooked. But had been thinking about them for a while as a means to use my excess solar generation” • “We’d been interested in electric cars for some time, but were not sure if there were the right sort of cars or sufficient infrastructure for our commuting needs. We attended one of the 2016 Leading the Charge road trip stopovers and talked to owners & had a test drive. This was enough to convince us that the time was right to go EV” • “It was a first look at electric vehicles and persuaded me to take one for a test drive”
Knowledge of the EECA subsidy persuaded purchase for training
“I was at an Automotive diagnostics training seminar & was presented with the idea of purchasing an EV with co-funding from EECA. The idea behind it was for it to be used as a workshop loan vehicle to give more people a chance to drive an EV & also for us to learn how to service, maintain & repair them” • “government grant” • “EECA initiative”
Previously positive ownership experience informs future EV purchase
“Loved the MB brand and have had other C class models so we wanted to try this car. It fitted all our requirements” • “Already had an Outsider PHEV (2 years). Decided to replace my wife’s Prius C with a full EV. A Leaf was the best size for our purposes. It was then a matter of finding the right vehicle at the right price”
“Driving 80km to/from work. Needed to upgrade car, was a good $$$ decision” • “The difference in maintenance costs” • “I had been interested in EVs but was unsure if it could do what I needed it to do” • “Long time interest in EVs and climate change. But the price had to come down first” • “Good performance and cost per kilometer” • “Cheap to run” • “Business decision to reduce cost” • “Performance of what I expected to be a clunker” • “Understanding the unique advantages New Zealand has for EV. Renewable power, battery friendly temperatures, few residents in difficult to charge high rise places, Politically and economically vulnerable oil future” • “Age had something to do with it, as at my age one do not want to commit a lot of money to a new car and the insurance of it, so I bought second hand” • “We finally bought one in April when my husband moved from working at home to working in the city with a 20km commute each way and the saving on petrol has been phenomenal” • “Very conscious of global warming and Autolink (dealer) is just up the road. We test drove a couple of years before we bought one. We were waiting for our old banger to pack up and then bought one” • “Read about the environmental benefits and monetary savings associated with buying an EV, and wanted to do my bit to help and save money in the process” • “I heard Nissan NZ had cut the price of the LEAF from $69k down to $39k so figured the second hand market must have dropped considerably as a result. And I was sick of spending $100 per week on petrol!” • “I observed 3 things; 1. That AirNZ, a large company, was going EV, 2. That the Government was encouraging EVs and helping out with infrastructure, 3. the network for fast rechargers was happening and had reached where I lived. These 3 things convinced me EVs were the future plus the lack of RUCs and the cost of petrol vs power” • “Driving years now limited as we age so took the plunge to import a new Tesla in 2016” • “A combination of factors: 1. A conversation with my partner about the long-term ownership of a classic sports car (1991 Mazda MX5!) and the need to replace it with a newer, safer car, and 2. The death of my father Lou at the age of 93 last November, and my share of his legacy. I felt that it would be great to buy a car for his memory, that he would have appreciated for its technical merits (he had been both a Civil Engineer and Electronic Engineer)” • “It was kind of “all of the above”. I’ve wanted to go electric for a long time, due to environmental concerns about petrol, as well as the rising cost of fuel. I’ve kept tabs on what’s happening in the EV world and it seemed to me that the range issue I had (I live in Foxton) was slowly being covered by improvements in technology and the widening of the charging network. When my ICE car failed its last warrant, and I had some money in the bank, I decided it was the time to buy. My medium-term plan is to put enough solar on the roof so that I can charge both car and home without using the national grid. So there was no “one thing” but a culmination of events, knowledge and opportunity” • “Didn’t know who to speak to in person who was also interested in EV’s” • “It was just common sense” • “Other influences are more personal (including my recent completion of a certificate in renewable tech from SIT” • “I’m 82 and forward looking. I could see from general incoming information that EV’s were to become an important part of the vehicle fleet. I wanted to experience this in my life time” • “After GM, Toyota, Ford, Honda etc… and MIC crushed and killed the EVs in 2003 I became very depressed… however crushing and “Killing the Electric Car” was the best thing that ever happened, otherwise we would be stuck with established car makers trying to make EVs… in 1998 the EV1 had a range of 100 km…. in 2011 the Nissan LEAF had a range of 100 km… wow! now that is progress. Tesla proved that EVs can be fast, fun, sexy and Electric. Tesla has pushed the established car manufacturers to make compelling EVs not compliance cars. Let’s hope they are up for the challenge” • “A century after they first appeared, EVs are now ready for the mainstream, and tick all my ‘best tool’ boxes. That they also a symbol representing rejection of our polluting, throwaway lifestyle, is an incidental but welcome bonus…” • “My old Toyota Corolla was giving me expensive problems, eventually the mechanic said “I can’t get parts for this car anymore, i.e. the ABS and you need to get another car.” I had wanted an electric car for ages so without any research whatsoever, I just went and got one. And I love it” • “Have expected eventually to have an EV, and ten years ago put in an electrical supply to the carport. Over time kept aware of EV availability, and when the Kona EV was announced, set about buying one of the first” • “I was telling a friend I was buying a new car and she asked why would I buy a petrol car given they would be outdated over the next few years. Also, I garden in an environmentally conscious way and thought an electric car would sit better in terms of environmental impact” • “The opportunity to swap the 16 year old diesel Pajero against a 5 year old iMiev on one-to-one basis, when the 4WD car was not any longer required for agricultural work”
NZ EV websites shared in your comments:
The following specific sites were mentioned as useful sources of information.
Henrik Moller, Hannah Gentle, Dima Ivanov and Daniel Myall
14 October 2018