NZ EV Market Share: Light Vehicles

EV market share represents the percentage of monthly vehicle registrations that are electric vehicles.

This report reviews the monthly registration statistics for cars and light commercial vehicles. It includes:

  • New passenger cars.
  • Used import passenger cars.
  • New utes and vans.
  • Used import utes and vans.

Refer to the fleet report for EVs currently active on our roads.

EV market share snapshot

Light Vehicle Registrations

August 2023

Percentage that were EVs


Market share by motive power

Vehicle registrations can be grouped by their primary motive power. ‘Electric Vehicle’ (EV) encompasses battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which can operate on electricity from an external charging port.

Vehicle market drilldown

Light vehicles are grouped by their motive power and make, drilling down to the numbers of each registered model.

Click chart to drilldown

Annualised EV market share

EV registrations doubled in 2021 and 2022, with market share following the same trend. In 2023, market share has stabilised with similar volumes to 2022.

Market share by fuel type over time

At the beginning of 2020, over 88% of light vehicle registrations in New Zealand were Petrol or Diesel.

Petrol-only vehicles are losing market share to hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. Diesel vehicle market share remains unchanged due to the high number of utes (light trucks) registered monthly.

Seeing different numbers elsewhere?

The NZ automotive market can be segmented into cars (new and used imports), light commercial vehicles, and heavy vehicles.

It’s important to compare the same market segment.

See the new car EV market share report.

EV market share per month

The EV market grew very slowly until the introduction of the Clean Car rebate. An increasing number of models and downward price movement have also contributed to EV popularity.

EV registrations vary significantly from month to month – so a 3-month rolling average has been charted.

Cars: New vs Used Imports

Segmenting passenger cars into new and used import registrations shows a marked difference in EV uptake.

Supply of used battery EVs from traditional markets (Japan) is limited to the Nissan Leaf.


New Zealand EVs have two different DC fast-charge socket types – CHAdeMo (predominant in Japanese used imports) and CCS Type 2. This affects fast-charging infrastructure as both plug types must be catered for.

In mid-2022, there was a 50/50 split between the two types. Since then, CCS EVs have dominated market share, leading to a 2:1 ratio of CCS to CHAdeMO.

Only battery-electric vehicles are charted. Some plug-in hybrids (such as older Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs) also have a CHAdeMo socket – but how often these vehicles are fast-charged is unknown. Given increased electricity costs at DC charge points and the small size of the batteries, fast-charging is unlikely.

EVs on the technology adoption life cycle

The technology adoption life cycle is a theory that predicts the uptake of new technology. It’s based on ideas about the diffusion of innovation and can be presented as a bell-curve graph.

The transition from early adopters to the early majority is significant enough to be called ‘crossing the chasm‘. Some technologies fail to make this transition.

Exponential growth is just one possible forecast, but it seems unlikely due to the following:

  • NZ is at an early stage of EV adoption; many see EVs as a compromise or too early of a technology.
  • The future of government policy assisting EV uptake is uncertain.
  • Many buyers opt for hybrid cars (used import and new NZ) to save on fuel costs.
  • NZ relies on the Japanese Domestic Market for most of used car stock. Japan has a good supply of hybrids but very little supply of BEVs (Japan has very low BEV adoption).
  • Economy – inflation and cost-of-living increases may dampen the mood for new vehicle purchases.
  • NZ has an aggressive ute (light truck) market. The market share of these (predominantly diesel) vehicles has shown no sign of changing.
  • The righthand drive EV market has experienced significant supply constraints (on some models).
  • Charging infrastructure is critical to EV adoption.

It may be that New Zealand experiences linear growth in EV market share.

See more about the NZ EV adoption curve and how we meet governmental targets.

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