NZ EV Market Share – New Cars

The new electric car segment is evolving faster than any other segment of the New Zealand automotive market.

This new car market report focuses on NZ new passenger cars added to the registration system each month.

This segment does NOT include used imports, utes, or light vans.

See the complete light vehicle market share report.

Most recent month

A snapshot of the last month shows the powertrain of new cars registered in NZ.

New Car Drilldown

New cars are grouped by the type of powertrain they use, and the brand of the car.

The outer ring shows the market share of the whole new car market. Drilling into a powertrain segment shows the brand market share within that segment.

Market share by powertrain

New Zealand’s new car segment is undergoing a rapid transition.

The combination of the clean car programme, rising petrol prices, and an increasing number of EV models has resulted in significant change.

Rebates on new BEVs began on July 2021, followed by a more comprehensive scheme on April 2022. The fuller ‘clean car discount’ provided rebates for all lower-emission vehicles, and fees for higher emissions.

The ‘waves’ on the BEV graph are due to vehicle supply, and selecting a quarterly view will even out these variations.

Monthly market share

The new electric car market experienced incremental growth until July 2021.

The S-curve is a pattern of slow adoption followed by rapid growth and high market penetration for new technologies, as they reach a critical tipping point.

The graph plots a trend line (exponential) and then applies an S-curve forecast that matches the trend.

However, predicting future growth from a graph can be challenging, as various factors can affect the outcome.

A large number of variables will affect the new car market:

  • Economic recession, lowering house values, inflation.
  • Government policy: how will the clean car programme change under a different government?
  • EV supply constraints.
  • Are hybrids are more favourable choice due to a lower price?

New cars are just one segment of the market

New passenger cars are showing a rapid transition to some form of electrification.

However, this is not reflected in the broader light vehicle market.

Around half of the vehicles added to the register each month are Used Imports. Except for the Nissan Leaf, most of these imports are not BEVs (although an increasing number are straight hybrids). This reflects the Japanese Domestic Market, NZ’s primary used vehicle source.

Another significant segment is the ‘light commercial’ class of vehicles (that includes Utes and vans).

In this segment, over 75% of vehicles are utes, most of which are diesel. Market share has remained unchanged, despite a pollution fee.

*There can be small variations in monthly data between Waka Kotahi and the Ministry of Transport. This is most likely due to some registrations being reversed at a later date.

By James Foster

James has been tracking the NZ EV transition since 2016.

Updated as at December 31, 2022