EV vs ICE Market Share NZ

Electric Vehicles – while growing in numbers – still represent a small part of the vehicle market, with the majority being Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.

Up until 2021 the EV fleet size increased – but only at the same rate as the number of petrol/diesel vehicles.

However 2021 marked significant change with the introduction of the Clean Car Discount, and an increasing number of models available.

Car Registrations By Motive Power

A breakdown of motive power of passenger cars registered in NZ.

Change in Motive Power of Cars

At the beginning of 2020 almost 87% of cars registered in NZ were Petrol or Diesel. By the end of 2021 this number had dropped to under 72%.

Light EV Registrations

Light vehicles include all passenger cars, and ‘commercial’ vehicles – such as utes, vans, and trucks that are under 3,500 kg. There are very few commercial EVs, so therefore the EV percentage is lower than in cars.

The split between new and used shows that EV growth is coming from NEW vehicles rather than used imports.

Light EV Percentage By Year

According to the EECA, by 2030 over 50% of monthly vehicle sales need to be electric in order to meet emissions reduction targets.

Percentage of EVs in the Current Fleet

With a fleet size (passenger vehicles and goods van/trucks/utilities) of 4,057,139 of which 33,834 are EVs, this means just 0.83% of the current fleet is electric (BEV and PHEV). Sourced October 2021.

NZ Compared to Other Countries

2020 was a year of massive growth in EV market share around the world, despite the pandemic. 2021 looks to be even bigger, with current month-on-month figures showing 100-200% growth.

However New Zealand’s EV market share is modest compared to Europe and China.

Norway is not shown in the ADR report. The adoption of EVs in Norway has been so rapid, that it is an outlier. In 2020 only 17% of all vehicle sales were petrol or diesel. Full electric vehicles (BEVs) were 54% of all vehicle sales. BEVs and PHEVs combined accounted for 74% of all new vehicle sales.


  • New – NZ new BEVs and PHEVs.
  • Used – Used import BEVs and PHEVs.
  • Data Sources: Updated monthly from EV fleet data at Te Manatu Waka / Ministry of Transport. Also Roland Berger ADR#9, Consultancy UK. *The NZ percentage is not part of the ADR, but is drawn from the MoT tables.
By James Foster
Updated as at December 31, 2021