The Clean Car Discount was introduced in July to encourage electric vehicles sales here in New Zealand. Since then we have seen EV registrations rise from an average of around 500 a month to almost 2,000 in the first month of the incentive. Now in the third month, we have seen a record 2,282 registered for September. The shift back to level 4 lockdown in August due to covid-19 caused a drop in registrations to 670 so it is good to see that sales have bounced back since then.
The Motor Industry Association (MIA) reported that September was the second highest month for vehicle sales since they began reporting. It was also the first month that more plug-in electric models were sold than non-plug-in hybrids. The Clean Car Discount has likely been a contributor to this through bringing the price down for plug-in models, making them cheaper hybrids. As EV charging infrastructure becomes more developed, making charging easier, we will likely see this gap increase further.
This year we have seen Tesla become a strong contender in the vehicle manufacturing industry in its own right, not only as an EV manufacturer. In September they took out 4th spot on the overall market leaders table for NZ behind Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford. This has them holding 6% of market share for the month with 1,066 Model 3’s sold; over 5 times what they sold in August. In the SUV and passenger vehicle sales market Tesla holds 9% of market share behind Toyota and Misubishi. For a relatively new brand to be competing with these long time competitors in the market is a great testament to the vehicles they are producing and the driving experience of electric vehicles.
For the BEV market, the MG ZS EV was second best selling to the Model 3 with 122 units. The Hyundai Kona sits in third with 84 registrations. Mitsubishi continues to lead the PHEV market with 282 Eclipse Cross models sold and 115 Outlanders, followed by the plug-in MG HS with 47 units sold.
September was also the first month that a BEV made it to the top 3 of all vehicle registrations in any one month. The Tesla Model 3 outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander and sits second behind only the Ford Ranger that leads with 1,408 units for September. With the current semiconductor shortage that is affecting world-wide sales of vehicles, especially those that are electric, these statistics are surprising. However, the following months may reflect this with lower registration numbers than we have seen for September as manufacturers find it harder to meet supply demands.
The strong uptake of EVs in the market is promising for the future as we aim to drastically reduce our emissions. It is great to see that despite the EV skeptics, many people are making the switch away from combustion engines. The fuel shortages around the world, and rising costs of fuel here, will likely convince others too as the charging of an EV is much cheaper, self reliant and sustainable. Further EV options will also join the NZ market in late 2021 and in 2022 giving Kiwi’s even more to choose from.