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July 2022

Electric vs petrol: Is an EV cheaper in the long run?

Here’s what you need to know about the electric car revolution.

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Ralph C.
01 Aug 2022
Dinosaurs keep on keepin' on with the EV hate

Nothing is guaranteed to pull more dinosaurs out of their caves with their Big oil propaganda and "whataboutisms" than a media article extolling the virtues of EVs.

We bought a used 2013 gen 3 prius last year to replace a Toyota Vitz (Yaris). My wife was seriously considering a Toyota Aqua (Japan market version of the discontinued Prius C). I am so glad we test drove the standard Prius. Its fuel economy is way better than the 1.3L Vitz ever was, is only slightly worse than the Prius C / Aqua and it has a lot more room and power to boot!.

After experiencing a car driving on pure electric and no ICE, I don't know why anyone would want to endure the noise and vibration of a standard petrol or diesel engine. There's a reason why "U Turn" the street gang boss in the TV Show Weeds bought his whole crew Prius back in the mid-2000s. If U Turn was buying his crew new cars now I reckon he'd go the whole hog and go pure EV (Google "Weeds U turns prius").

Sally J.
31 Jul 2022
Realistically last car

I am in my 70s so realistically will only drive for another ten years , if that. I have a four year old skoda which is not a gas guzzler and I cannot see that I would save anything if I bought an electric car. Take the planet out of the equation.

Graeme C.
31 Jul 2022
Real Cost

Assuming both buyers had the money to purchase the EV , the Holden buyer would have $13,000 in hand. Invested at 3% over the 10 years that would grow to $17,500. This makes the EV, currently, a much worse financial proposition. This is before the road tax gets added to the operating costs. EV's at this stage are heavier vehicles with higher tyre wear (fossil fuels again) and damage to raod surfaces.

Susan H.
01 Aug 2022
Facts add to the balance...

I think if you add tax and inflation to that the EV is still the financial winner. I also think you will find a Nissan Leaf and an Audi A4 weigh pretty much exactly the same (1600kg)...inconvenient fact. BEVs are not damaging the roads any more than other cars and Utes

Helen G.
30 Jul 2022
love my EV

I own a Tesla which can run 650 km on a charge from home.
Toured around up north without needing to recharge until the trip home.
Plugged into the supercharger in Whangarei and went to have lunch.
Returned after 45 minutes to find car fully charged.
Love the power, comfort, space, quiet drive and zero exhaust.

Marijke V.
03 Aug 2022
Teslas are awesome

Owned our Tesla for going on 3 years. Utterly awesome car and only continues to get better with age. A 1700km road trip costs $10 with all the free chargers. Love the performance, the handling, the efficiency and most of all we are doing our little bit to help save the planet. Your money does way better buying such a car than putting it in the bank and sticking with your old ICE car.

B A S.
06 Aug 2022
When free charging is thrown in

well we all know nothing in this world is free. The high upfront cost of the vehicle pays the 'free' charging. A family member with an older Tesla paid $120 for a 900 km trip.

Sarah L.
30 Jul 2022
TED talk on electric vs petrol cars vs hybrid

Can someone comment on this TED talk please?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1E8SQde5rk

Rob R.
30 Jul 2022
elements of truth and misleading

The vid raises interesting points. I would take issue with the framing of the a number of the points. (e.g. no, everyone does not say electric cars have zero emissions...car companies certainly do). There is a bit of cherry picking in his presented data.

Maybe cross reference with trusted sites like https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/does-making-an-electric-car-use-twice-the-emissions-of-a-standard-model/ which shows his calculated emissions before production are at the top end.

He is correct that in countries that have largely "dirty" electricity, then there are significant CO2 emissions, however there are fewer CO2 emissions when generated at a dirty power stations than multiple car engines (efficiencies of scale).

Also a pity that he focussed only on CO2 and not other pollutants.

The reality is that there is no single solution to the climate crisis. There are dozens if not hundreds and they all need to happen.

People need cars. Many people can get away with an electric car and many will have to wait until they become affordable. Hybrids are an improvement on ICE, but only a stop gap. It would be even better if we move a significant percentage to public transport and get trucks off the road. But it all takes time, which we don't have.

William P.
31 Jul 2022
PHEVs

There is little feedback / comment on PHEVs. As a Half way house are they considered a reasonable option, esp for short journeys around town or just the worst of both worlds ( the costs of ICE, increased weight and short ev range)?

John M.
31 Jul 2022
PHEVs

William, horses for courses and your driving patterns. If like me you are a commuter and your round trip is 50-60ks or less, or that much over 2 days etc, and you can plug in at home each night then it is a great option. The emissions and cost saving will be great. The engine is great if you need to do the odd long trip and can just blast off. Generally, they’re best used as a mid range commuter for greatest gains but you can frame them as short term use EV, long distance ICE, ie a hybrid.

Susan H.
01 Aug 2022
EV NZ lifecycle assessment

I think this graphic from EECA nicely summarises the life cycle impact of EVs in NZ.
https://www.eeca.govt.nz/assets/EECA-Resources/Research-papers-guides/ev-lca-report-infographic-nov-2015.pdf

Peter
30 Jul 2022
I love my EV because it's better for the planet

I find it odd that you don't mention the main reason to purchase an EV in the above article - to reduce emissions that cause the climate crisis. Plus giving us cleaner air in our cities!

Peter I.
30 Jul 2022
Is this Greenwashing?

To extrapolate out to 2028 but not include Road User Charges from 2024 for EVs is at best lazy, at worst intentional misrepresentation. Either way it paints a terrible picture of Consumer’s authenticity.

chris s.
30 Jul 2022
solar

Home solar is expanding and will increasingly supply power for EVs, homes, workplaces, farms and may even negate the need for a new power station. Battery recharging plants will be built locally as demand picks up.

Jennifer Sarah C.
30 Jul 2022
Solar

Solar is extremely expensive to set up and panels only last roughly 20 years before needing to be replaced which coincidentally is roughly the same amount of time you need to pay off the initial set up unless your very wealthy (which most kiwis are not)
Used solar panels are also an environmental issue when they reach the end of their life. Australia are currently experiencing this issue with literally hundreds of thousands solar panels at the end of their life and no feasible way in recycling them.
Solar cannot and will not be capable of covering the required energy Nz will need in the future.

Ralph C.
01 Aug 2022
Greenwashing is about falsifying envionmental benefits and credentials

Consumer's apparent omission of the potential cost of RUCs being imposed on EVs is not greenwashing. Greenwashing is making false or misleading claims about environmental matters for commercial gain.

Susan H.
01 Aug 2022
Solar...not so bad

Yes solar panels do have an end of life and there are currently 6 companies in Australia geared up for recycling with doubtless more to come in time for the 2035 predicted replacement time frame.
See Canstats article https://www.canstarblue.com.au/solar/recycle-solar-panels/

Ruth S.
30 Jul 2022
Excellent article on EVs

Thank you so much for such an excellent article on EVs. That is exactly why I pay my subscription to Consumer

Jennifer Sarah C.
30 Jul 2022
What about all the new mines?

What about all the new mines that are required to extract rare earth & raw materials to make the Evs and the environmental impact that will have. Ev's require x6 the amount of minerals.
Will all these new mines to make Millions & Millions of new EV's be mined by using Ev machinery to extract the minerals?

Ev's are short sighted and a knee jerk reaction. There will be better ways to achieve the same goal.

Can consumer just stick to testing and reporting on products (That's what I pay my membership for) and leave the social engineering to others.

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Except... Fossil fuels

This position ignores the impact of extracting fossil fuels out of the ground. Which is high.
It also treats the minerals extracted for Lithium batteries *like* fossils fuels, like they are used and then gone. But they're not. EV batteries are recycled, they're too valuable not to be. This is already ramping up in the US, Europe and China. NZ will export our spent batteries to be recycled. That said, no denying that A LOT of lithium and other minerals will still need to be mined to meet global EV demand, but they will enter the circular economy. Think - aluminium. It's a no-brainer.

Willie &Chris V.
30 Jul 2022
Kylie F. Is right on the button

Do your research Jennifer. The batteries will be fully recycled in future because that’s cheaper then mining for new minerals. In the meantime your electric car will use power generated mainly by renewables in NZ. Fossil fuel pollutes as it is being mined transported refined and then as it burns and it can’t be recycled. Thanks Consumer for opening peoples eyes. Oh by the way we don’t have time to wait for magical solutions, what has the news.

Jennifer Sarah C.
31 Jul 2022
Do your research Willie & Chris

There are many issues with mining.
The main components of lithium-ion batteries (lithium, cobalt and graphite) all have sustainability issues. Lithium mining in some countries has resulted in toxic spills and water shortages. Much of the world’s cobalt comes from Democratic Republic of Congo and is mined using child labour and unregulated, dangerous practices. Graphite, (which makes up the bulk of a battery, about 50kg), is mainly sourced from China where there are concerns over environmental and labour practices.

Cobalt and nickel are the money makers in recycling (it costs more to recycle lithium than it does to extract it raw from the earth)

Susan H.
01 Aug 2022
Mining not just an EV challenge

I applaud Jennifer's concern with Cobalt mining but unfortuantely singling out EVs (one of our major weapons in the war on fossil fuel emissions driven global heating) conveniently ignores all the other inconvenient things that Cobalt is used for ie many alloys (superalloys for parts in gas turbine aircrafr engines, corrosion resistant alloys, high-speed steels, cemented carbides), in magents and magnetic recording media, as catalysts for the petroleum and chemical industries, as drying agents for paints and inks....not to mention its use in batteries that power our computers and cellphones. ALSO all those social and environmental 'issues' Jennifer mentions have been perpertrated on the planet and its inhabitants by the fossil fuel industry many time over...largely without address!

Willie &Chris V.
04 Aug 2022
Do your research about cobalt

Car batteries are being designed without cobalt now and already being used. Tesla for instance is planning to use cobalt only for high performance vehicles from now on.
Haven’t heard the counter argument on fossil fuel pollution though.

Jennifer Sarah C.
06 Aug 2022
Willie &Chris V & Sarah H

Who's defending Fossil Fuels? I never made any claims oil is good, you think because I don't believe EV's are the appropriate answer you automatically think I support Oil? .
You do know oil is still used to produce EV's don't you?
I said EV's aren't as environmentally or ethically as good as 'some' people would like to claim & I think the human race can do much better.
If you want to support unethical mining that exploits other humans & our vulnerable planet from the past or future mining be my guest. I think peoples lack of knowledge on the amount of environmental & social damage mining across all manner of goods is shocking including EV's.
Humans have the most intelligence out of any species on the planet and we have an obligation to the planet to aim higher instead of jumping on to a knee jerk short sighted ban wagon approach.

"There are very few places where atoms can think...Meaning exists in our minds, so the demise of Earth could wipe out meaning"-Brian Cox

I believe in Science & not popular opinion

Denise H.
30 Jul 2022
Govt fuel charges

As the revenue from fuel tax reduces it is likely that the Government could start charging road user charges as they do with diesel? And is the price of producing lithium batteries going to increase or decrease? And how is the country goig to produce the extra electricity required to charge more electric vehichles?

Alon S.
30 Jul 2022
Al S

How much does it take in carbon emissions to produce one EV car compared to an ICE car taking in all components from battery production to finished product for each vehicle?

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Three in one

1) Road user charges for EVs are coming. It's only fair (I'm in a two car family, one car is an EV).
2) Cost of EVs is coming down. Lithium batteries will use less expensive components, and battery manufacture is scaling up globally. Watch for BYD and MG to make a sizeable NZ market impact as they arrive here in large numbers.
3) We have next to no electricity supply constraint in NZ. The likes of Meridian are trying to understand how they find industrial buyers given they expect Tiwai Point to close mid-decade. That said, we do have seasonal supply issues in dry years (if dams are low), but these generally don't have much impact on retail electricity prices. Short answer - this won't be a problem that needs a solution for a decade or more, if ever. EVs make up a tiny percentage of the light vehicles in NZ, and that will take a long time to change.

Patrick
30 Jul 2022
What about RUCs?

Road user charges will be introduced after March 2024. ignoring these in cost comparisons is dishonest.

Adriaan
30 Jul 2022
CLEAN AND GREEN

THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL EVs BURNT TO THE GROUND WHILST CHARGING. THE TOXIC GASSES AND FEROCITY OF THE FIRE IS SUCH THAT FIREMEN WON'T GO ANYWHERE NEAR THE VEHICLE,SO MUCH FOR CLEAN AND GREEN.
WE DON'T SEE MUCH REPORTING ON THESE HAPPENINGS.

Rob R.
30 Jul 2022
errr...

AAP factcheck talked about some aspects of this claim just this week:

https://www.aap.com.au/factcheck/electric-vehicle-battery-fire-claim-is-as-weak-as-water/

Peter
30 Jul 2022
CAPITAL LETTERS

IF YOU TYPE YOUR ENTIRE COMMENT IN CAPITAL LETTERS, IT LETS PEOPLE KNOW YOUR OPINION IS ONE TO BE IGNORED

Ray S.
30 Jul 2022
Erroneous not to include battery depreciation as a fuel cost and road use charges

Comparing fuel costs without adding in the depreciation of batteries seems to be a highly flawed methodology - and one which is often used. The battery is a means of delivering fuel. By not including this is like comparing "apples and oranges".

By not including road user charges is a similar flaw - until that is done users of alternative fueled vehicles are free-loading. Another very common instance of not comparing "apples with apples".

The environmental, social and health impacts, as one commentator has already said are also not costed. Nor are the costs of chargers installed at homes and similar. Issues will also arise where, because of absence of on-property parking, facilities will need to be placed in streets, or power leads run out from houses presenting a fresh set of hazards.

Peter H.
02 Aug 2022
EV are still in their infancy

Ray raises very valid points.

I just like to add to his concerns that the article missed entirely to calculate the CO2 emissions over the vehicles lifetime, including manufacturing, delivery, running and disposal

EVs have a long way to go before they can be called clean:

* substantially reduce size and weight of vehicles
* standardise batteries so you can swap batteries instantly at "gas" stations (battery manufacturers own batteries)
* make EVs autonomous
* don't own an EV, instead join a car sharing service (think scooters)

Unfortunately, there are no technical solutions to halt global warming. To make an impact we need to change our behaviour. Go small, share, recycle, buy less, consume less...

Kevin H.
30 Jul 2022
Be honest with comments on EVs v ICE

It's very easy to show the positives for EVs.
We don't see much written about towing with an EV, particularly the much-written about Leaf.
Try driving to Christchurch from Blenheim (312 km) with a loaded trailer and three passengers and luggage. I will jump in the Commodore.
Winter time or summer time, turn on the heater/air conditioning.
But wait, the government will one day soon, need to introduce a road users tax for EV users who at present pay nothing towards to cost of roading etc.
Leafs and similar are fine for little old grannys to dawdle around town to do the shopping, but let's be honest about the pro's and con's for both ICE and EV vehicles.
I personally will await the arrival of hydrogen powered vehicles and then compare them to EVs.

Jennifer Sarah C.
30 Jul 2022
Your dead right

Good points, couldn't agree more.

Trevor B
30 Jul 2022
About road user charges

I run a diesel, so pay RUC. Before the current discount the rate was $76 per 1,000km. So if the example EV did 10,000 per year the RUC cost would be $760 per annum, $3800 over 5 years. This doesn't make a lot of difference to the graph. Your particular circumstance may not suit an EV, but that doesn't mean most people can't benefit. Some EVs can have towbars fitted, but I would expect the range to diminish considerably, so OK for going to the tip but not intercity.

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Yes and no

For city commuting in a two car family, an EV is fantastic. And I ain't no granny.
For just the one car in the family, in a less urban setting, I'd agree the equation changes significantly.
Regarding hydrogen - I'm relatively confident they won't make a light vehicle impact in the next decade, if ever. Converting electricity to hydrogen, then back to electricity is an uphill battle that is unlikely to stack up any time soon.

Trevor B
30 Jul 2022
Incorrect URL for battery upgrade

Your link to EVS Enhanced is wrong. It should be:
evsenhanced.com/services/hv-battery-swaps-and-upgrades

The link currently has some Consumer path in front.

I am pleased to know that there are now upgrade options, at least for some vehicles. A battery upgrade for an EV is the equivalent of an engine overhaul/replacement for an ICE vehicle.

John C.
30 Jul 2022
What if you can only afford, or want, a cheap car?

How do EVs compare if you consider all the thousands of people who don't want to spend, or can't afford, more than $5000–$10000, say, on any car? If you're comparing cars of $30K–$80K, EVs might stack up better, but how many can affordthose prices?

Jennifer Sarah C.
30 Jul 2022
What if you can only afford, or want, a cheap car?

Exactly

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Agree

For the NZ fleet, this is massive. We drive a lot of old, cheap cars.
I don't see this being resolved any time in the next five years. By then there will be some second hand options with enough range for more to consider EVs, but until then this price range (and below!) will be an EV desert.

Nic W.
30 Jul 2022
Safety rating

I note that the 2018 Nissan Leaf only has a 4 star safety rating and the 2018 Holden has a 5 star rating.
Even the new 2022 Nissan Leaf still only has a 4 star rating. Why are they receiving full rebates when we are on the road to zero?

John M.
30 Jul 2022
Consumer. You have completely let down your members.

Well written, comprehensive and a very good article at one narrow level but our respected journal has completely failed its readers. This article completely misses one of the two main points. There are two, by the way, dot points about climate impacts.
In case you missed it the world is dying. The over life financial costs are important, for sure, but arguably the most important, bottom line here is carbon emissions over the life of the cars (and end of life environmental issues too). Thats why we’re having an EV article at all. If we don’t acknowledge that in a Consumer report then Consumer’s days should end. Whats the use of saving $6,000 on a car if our Councils have to spend $1, 600,000 shoring up our part of coastline or get malaria as mosquitoes find it nice to live here as we get warmer? Thats coming. Some basic, level one systems thinking can see the linkages. Consumer you have done your readers and worse yourselves a disservice by not making a prominent thing of this. Carbon bottom lines and sustainability are a thing, Editorial Board. It was 43.6C in a small town in Portugal last week and Sydney had three yards of water in a week recently. The human and financial costs of those (and similar events) dwarf the Leaf vs Commodore thing. We only needed a couple more paragraphs to add the balance required. I also acknowledge that the majority of readers only want the money bottom line. But their children don’t and Consumer needs them as the next generation reader.
Consumer Board. Thank you for your decades of work and Your repair and end if life work etc is great. Please, wake up and adapt and serve your community as its world evolves in a very bad way at a scary rate. It is time to acknowledge and really lift on carbon and awareness and advocacy on that. The world is no longer only about F&P or LG

https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_jackson_an_economic_reality_check

B A S.
30 Jul 2022
It is a shame

people don't talk to old timers who can recall bad weather and flooding over their lifetime. Then Google (if you dig far enough back) will display articles on how the Thames River froze solid or another year dried up to a trickle. I watched a recent video of a guy walking around London during their heat wave and no one was collapsing on the streets, they were just enjoying the warmth.

Trevor B
30 Jul 2022
Reply to John M

I don't understand why you are berating Consumer for providing this information on EV vs ICE ownership. It seems to me that you are saying that switching to EV does nothing to address all the climate change and other issues the planet faces. But no single product or action can address them. It requires many different products and actions to even make a dent in climate change. For New Zealand, we not only need to change our vehicle fleet to electricity and green hydrogen but to increase our renewable energy and energy storage (probably including getting rid of the CO2 producing aluminium smelter), so we don't need coal or gas fired plant for peak demand.
I have seen many articles claiming "whole of life" energy use for EVs is higher than for ICE vehicles, but many contain spurious and/or extreme case scenarios. The same can be said for charging scenarios, and it is interesting that the UK has introduced legislation for home fast chargers that requires controls to exclude charging during peak demand periods. NZ should make that move too, so you can plug in on arriving home but it will start charging later in the evening.

I have just received this report from a USA website. It is a calculation of the typical energy consumption over the whole life cycle of EV and ICE cars and utes.
UCS Study Shows Lifetime EV Emissions Are 50% Lower Than Conventional Vehicles
https://cleantechnica.com/2022/07/27/ucs-study-shows-lifetime-ev-emissions-are-50-lower-than-conventional-vehicles/

Jennifer Sarah C.
30 Jul 2022
Reply to Trevor B

That's a good idea having the same as UK with excluded peak time for home ev chargers, If Nz does that I'll plug my heater & clothes dryer into it :)

B A S.
30 Jul 2022
Clean electricity v dirty electricity

this is the vexing question that EV believers have first to explain. Every increasingly NZ's power supply comes from coal and gas fired stations as our grid strains against demand. In Australia 80% of their grid is fed by coal and gas power stations and Europe has turned back to nuclear, the latter a source which even the Greens have been forced to accept. As for NZ EVs well Tesla are good but have a power drive ($10k to replace) and batteries that degrade when constantly fast charged. Yes Tesla have free charging stations but confined to late model and very expensive models so you in effect pay up front for the power.

Rob R.
30 Jul 2022
Battery life

Unless you are going to buy an apparently not long for this world Leaf, battery life isn't an issue.

Modern EVs have very clever charge management, so even if you anxiously charge every day, the computers take care of the batteries.

Batteries are often warranted to still be at 80% after 160,000, thanks to a US law and the battery packs should last as long as an internal combustion engine does.

John M.
30 Jul 2022
Charge at night

Good comment. To make this work for the environment and bottom line, if possible charge at night when the base load is pure renewable. And at 10c a kwh. You’re right, charging during the News will have 15% or more peak fossil plant based generation.

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Comment from an owner

I've owned an EV for over two years. Our two car family loves our Leaf because it's cheap to run and handles great. We put about 20k kilometres per year on it, commuting and as a weekend city runner (never far out of town).
We've NEVER - not once - used a public charger. We charge at home. Always. We only charge during the day occasionally on weekends, because it's cheaper to charge over night (time of use charging), and we want it charged first thing.

F M M.
30 Jul 2022
Not fair comparison

If you want to compare costs with a Nissan Leaf use a comparable size petrol car not a large car like a Commodore

Trevor H.
30 Jul 2022
Perhaps, but...

I had a Leaf for a while and a friend of mine had a Ford of similar size to a Holden, we were able to carry about the same load as the Ford because the form factor of the Leaf benefits from not having to find space for a large ICE up front and a petrol tank in the rear. In an EV the battery system sits under the passenger compartment, between the wheels, saving significantly on space. Furthermore the lack of a drive shaft means that the cabin has a surprising amount of space.

As far as relative weights and capacities go, much depends on the year and model, but actually the weights are approx the same on average. The sedan Holden has (again on average) about the same boot space.

I suspect there will be a constituency who love their ICE vehicles: especially ones like high-capacity Holdens etc. But, for a lot of people the choice is changing in favour of the EV and as petrol costs continue to rise (as they are projected to) and EV's decrease in price, a lot of folks will see the balance change.

Rachel B.
02 Aug 2022
Leaf should be compared to small hatch not a Commodore!

Totally agree. Wrong comparison to start with. A Leaf is more comparable to a smaller hatchback such as a Kia Picanto/Rio, Toyota Yaris/Corolla. This put the ICE on the back foot from the start!

Mike W.
30 Jul 2022
EV to grid

When is the technology going to come in that allows you to plug in your EV when you get home and the controller is connected to ripple control to put power back into your house during peak periods, then later during the night put the power back onto your battery. The government is investing a lot of money into these "batteries" and at the same time also investing a lot of money into investigating a pumped hydro scheme that will do the same thing but load the national grid up more. Surely the EVs that will eventually be spread all over the country will take a lot of load off the national grid and relieve that issue too. I wouldn't buy an EV until it can reduce the cost of my household power as well because it has reduced the cost of making and delivering electricity

John M.
30 Jul 2022
Car to house

Hi Mike. Its here. 3.6Kwh ppl https://kia.co.nz/vehicles/kia-ev6/features/#technology

Maybe drives a heater for an hour. Its on the way. The Ford F150 Ranger Lightning they say can keep a small house going for a day https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/f150-lightning/features/intelligent-backup-power/

Mike W.
03 Aug 2022
Peak shaving

I note that a Ford F150 is said to power a house for 3 days and a Nissan leaf can power a house for 2 days. But what I'm really talking about is peak shaving to take the load off the grid reducing the need for grid upgrades and reducing the need for peak power generation which is carbon intensive. Surely the government would have some foresight if they put some money into researching this option, even if we shaved 5% off the peak power load this would be significant in terms of fossil fuelled generation and grid capacity?

Trevor H.
30 Jul 2022
For ME, getting an EV was the best purchase choice

I had been overseas and on returning to NZ in 2017, decided to get an EV for the following reasons:
- Less polluting, especially considering NZ's relatively high level of renewable energy supply.
- EV adopter benefits: free charging stations, no road user tax
- Our driving profile - mostly trips in and around Auckland, very few trips outside

in 2017, we bought an imported 2016 Series II 30kwh Leaf Aero, paying around $30 for it, including extras such as monsoon shields, English console, roof rack and tow bar (for bike mounting only)
Over the following 4 years the car did around 36,000km, and by judicious use of free charging stations we spent approx $100 on energy, with another $200 on regular service
I sold the Leaf with around 51,000km on the clock and 83% charge capacity for $20k, and bought a new MG EV for $48,500k, from which I received $8600 rebate and with the sale of car that reduced my cost for a new vehicle to $20k, but considering the savings on fuel (I took 10li/100km, x $2.50/li cost, and it saved around $9,000 - reducing the effective cost to $11,000. I could then take from that another $2,000 for service of an ICE, my brand new EV, with full 7-year warranty etc, costing me a net $9,000.
Since the start of Nov 2021, I have driven a modest $3,500km, and spent not a cent to provide the energy or to service it, by using charging at malls and other locations I would visit in any case - I charge the battery between 40-80% capacity.
I have often asked other EV owners if they would go back to an ICE, and universally the answer is an emphatic 'no'.
The acceleration is massive, it handles like it's on rails, and it is very, very quiet.

In the current state, an EV is not for everyone (obviously), but they are becoming a more viable choice for more people as more used EV's become available, the costs on gas-guzzlers (not specifically utes, I might add) change the economics.

I see the on-going challenges as a better charging network, improving ranges (although for most 300-400km is probably OK, local commuters even less). The writing is on the wall, however, as makers make the choice for us, most major manufacturers are reducing production of ICE vehicles, so as production volumes increase there should be a benefit from volume, servicing facilities etc.
But for me, it is important that I do something to reduce my carbon footprint. As batteries age, they are being recycled and put into houses for solar energy storage. An EV battery is likely to be retired from use on a car with a high proportion of its actual capacity still intact - it takes a LOT more energy to accelerate and tonne and a half of vehicle compared to running household appliances, so they can have a long-term useful life long after they have been used on a car: or, as mentioned, they can be recycled and the materials put back to more batteries or other applications.

Heather Armishaw
30 Jul 2022
We love our EV to bits

Trevor's comments reflect our own. We were early adopters, having had our Leaf for over 6 years. We would never go back to an ICE car. It is used most days for short trips (would prefer to use public transport but just not practical) and a couple of times a week about 50-60K. We charge overnight at home or free top-ups at the supermarket/mall. We've NEVER fast-charged as we don't need to and I believe this can shorten battery life. We only ever charge to 80% (that also prolongs battery life). A few extra benefits - no saving of supermarket discount coupons for fuel, no need to even visit the petrol station. For long (overnight/weekend/holiday) trips we go in our motorhome - can't wait till we can have an EV version. But for us, the greatest benefit is the reduction in our carbon footprint.

Tony H.
30 Jul 2022
Road user charges

How does the equation change when road user charges are added in? At some point EV owners will be hit with them

B A S.
30 Jul 2022
EV fans don't think the government

will ever introduce RUC for EVs just like they evade questions on how the elctricity is produced.

Peter I.
30 Jul 2022
At some point?

March 2024 apparently. A related question is how PHEVs will be RUC’d. Current law is that every vehicle with ability to plug in to charge-up gets RUC’d the same as an EV based on the odometer. Even if that PHEV only has a battery capacity of, say, 15km range.

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Have an EV

I have no problem with RUCs. It's only fair.
That said, for the time being, not having them applied to EVs is a market incentive, pure and simple. Which I also support :-)
I think most EV owners feel the same. They know RUCs are coming.

Willie &Chris V.
30 Jul 2022
Hey BAS.

Nz has 85% renewable energy and rising every year. Get with it.

Ronald C.
30 Jul 2022
RANGE REDUCTION IN WINTER WHEN HEATER IS USED

This is not a comment but a question. In the winter months when the car's heater is in constant use, how does this affect the car's range?

Rob R.
30 Jul 2022
heater range reduction

range reduction when turning on the heater varies by desired temperature and fan speed and whether or not you also turn on the air con.

For us (Kia 2022 EV Niro), it seems to be aroun 9-15% range. The (now same priced) Kia EV6 should be less as it uses a more efficient heat pump.

Once we figured out the car, range anxiety isn't really a thing for us. 🤓

r

Char Chris S.
30 Jul 2022
Re: heater based range reduction

Having the heater or A/C constantly has made a negligible impact on battery life in my experience. Maybe 1-3% per hour in the depths of Canterbury throughout winter.

What does make an impact is the temperature of the battery pack itself. South Island cold rather than Auckland cold does in-fact reduce range and sometimes it’s considerable. It depends on the model. You’ll find UK or Nordic reviews touching on it.

Some cars will have systems to mitigate this. Battery pack warmers are a thing and can be set to automatically activate while the car is charging. Some cars might do it through its cooling system and circulate warm radiator fluid throughout the innards of the vehicle. Yes, the article is wrong. Electric vehicles do in fact have cooling systems.

Kylie F.
30 Jul 2022
Great question!

For us in Dunedin (both hilly and chilly in winter) I sort of think our Leaf goes from four city runs between charges, to three. In the weekend this can require "day charging", which is otherwise completely avoided, to get cheap night rate electricity.

Susan H.
01 Aug 2022
Fighting the chill

Also I think the advent of heatpump aircon, steering wheel and seat heaters are also helping to address this impact